Samson Porcelain Pitcher, ca. 1850

Value (2012) | $300 Auction$500 Auction

My father collected these Dr. Wall Worcester. He collected them over many years in the '40s and '50s and probably into the early '60s. He lived in New York City at the time. It was really one of his passions.

So, do you have more of them?

There were 35 or 40. My father died almost 30 years ago, and about ten years ago, my mother moved from New York, and one of the provisions my mother said was that each one of us should be able to pick a piece out.

Why did you pick this one?

I really like it.

Why do you think it's Dr. Wall?

Because that's what I was told it was.

Three or four of us were looking at it at the table and it's a beautiful piece. Let's take a quick look to the bottom, and we have the classic Worcester seal mark. Now there are some other numbers here. Typically, those would be inventory numbers, not necessarily relevant to the piece. Now, I have to tell you, we spent some time on it, and we really like the piece. But we don't think it's Dr. Wall.

You don't.

We do not. In fact, we know it's not Dr. Wall.


It does have the Royal Worcester mark, it has all the callings of a Royal Worcester piece. And like I said, there were three of us on it, looking at it, feeling, "What's wrong with it? What's not right about it?" And began to ask some questions. The first thing is that it's made of a hard-paste porcelain. And the early first period Worcester, which is typically what it's referred to today. You know, Dr. Wall started the Worcester factory in 1751. And it was the first period-- or the Dr. Wall period, as you refer to it-- ended in 1783. Okay, so that would be the era that we're looking at. And all of that work was done in soft paste. This is a hard paste piece. The craftsmanship is fantastic. But we get up into the face here, and it's not quite what we would expect. There's a company called the Samson Porcelain Factory in Paris and are known as the great copyists.


The great forgers, if you will. And they were producing pieces all throughout...the German copies, the Meissen copies, the Dresden copies. The only person that could have done this was Samson. It is a great piece, the work is fantastic. A little heavier than we would expect it to be, and we also see very close along this edge an unfinished ring. That was also a bit of a surprise for us. So those are some of the things that keyed us off. We've also done a little bit more research and have found the exact form listed as a Samson piece. When he was buying and collecting in the '40s and '50s, nobody would have known. It's really the work that we've done in the last 20 years that has brought some of this to light and helped us understand what we were looking at. An auction estimate might be $300 to $500. Had it been first period Worcester, would have expected it to be somewhere between $1,500 and $2,500.

Okay, well, I guess that's why one comes to find that kind of thing out.

And it's a great piece. Just not first period Worcester.

Just not quite what it is, yeah. Okay.

Appraisal Details

Quinn's Auction Galleries
Falls Church, VA
Appraised value (2012)
$300 Auction$500 Auction
Rapid City, SD (July 14, 2012)
19th Century

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