Chinese Export Porcelain Teapot, ca. 1700

Value (2012) | $800 Auction$1,200 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
My aunt told me that this was brought to Holland by the Dutch East Indies Trading Company many, many years ago and was thought to be a forerunner of Delft blue that is so popular and well-known.

APPRAISER:
Well, a lot of us do know Delft blue or Delft blue and white ware made in the little town of Delft, in Holland. And there is a certain amount of accuracy in that, that an object like this inspired the production of Delft blue and white. This teapot was probably made between about 1690 and about 1700 or 1710.

GUEST:
I'm amazed.

APPRAISER:
So we're looking at a teapot that's a little over 300 years old. Made at the high point of the success of the Dutch East India Company, which brought about extraordinary wealth into the little country of Holland. The wealth came primarily from trade with the East. The Dutch were the best at building ships. In the 17th century, they built fleets of ships that were able to go around the Horn of Africa, pick up stuff in China and all points in between, and bring it back. But among the products that they brought back from China was blue and white porcelain. First of all, it's small. But it's not small if you lived 300 years ago. This is the size of a teapot. The form of it, what we call a "melon form," is a classic Chinese form of teapot, which began to be exported to the West in the latter part of the 17th century. This is painted with a stylized tulip, which identifies it as being made for the Dutch market. You can also see next to the tulip a little, tiny piece of gilding. Originally, this would have been picked out in gold throughout, which would complement this little silver gilt metal chain and mounting here. Beautiful mounts, by the way, including this delicate little hinged end to the spout with the bird finial. A beautiful little object, I think. Exquisitely made, exquisitely mounted and exquisitely preserved by your family. Now, what does this add up to in terms of value? Has your family ever had it valued or did they ever remark on that?

GUEST:
Not at all, not at all.

APPRAISER:
Even though the age is great, it's a beautiful object, well preserved, it's not that rare an object, and the collectors for it are relatively limited. Nevertheless, if it came to auction today, a piece like this would certainly see an auction estimate of, I would say, between $800 and $1,200.

GUEST:
I'm amazed. That's wonderful.

APPRAISER:
And I'd be surprised if it didn't bring at least that, and maybe more.

GUEST:
That's very nice to hear. Thank you so much.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Heritage Auctions
Dallas, TX
Appraised value (2012)
$800 Auction$1,200 Auction
Event
Corpus Christi, TX (August 04, 2012)
Form
Teapot
Material
Gilded, Porcelain, Silver

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.