British Rainbow Spatterware Pot, ca. 1860
A friend of mine was settling his parents' estate, and he knew I liked antiques, and so he invited me to come in and pick what I wanted. I just loved it on sight, but I got some other things too. But I really like this teapot. I like spongeware and have some pieces of blue. I have never seen yellow. I've seen green and red...
Let's talk a little about what it is. It's a coffee pot, by the way. It was made in England, in Staffordshire, in the midlands of England, probably around the time of the Civil War. I would say around 1860.
And you mentioned spongeware, which is a variety of decoration. This one we would call spatterware, which is a little different from spongeware, but they're both techniques basically designed to decorate pottery inexpensively and quickly to kind of maximum effect. This type of thing was made in England, but exclusively, really, for the export market, and particularly to the United States export market. You don't see many of them after the end of the 19th century, and they're mostly limited to the middle or the third quarter of the 19th century. How long ago did you buy it?
About 15 years ago.
Okay, and may I ask what you paid for it at the estate?
Because I bought other things together, I think my bill was $42 to $46, and I think this had ten dollars on it, I think.
This is what we call, by the way, rainbow spatterware. And rainbow spatterware is, perhaps, the rarest and certainly the most desirable of all the varieties of spatterware. And there isn't much of it around today, one reason being, I think, that this was originally an inexpensive object, and people used it and didn't necessarily treasure it or look after it. But this one survived rather nicely. There is a little bit of staining here, just a tiny bit of staining. And a tiny little chip on the spout, as you would expect. But this is in great condition in most things. Well, I think your ten-dollar investment has gone a long way. We all believe that if it came to auction, the low estimate would be about $3,000 and the high estimate could be as much as $5,000.
Such a nice little thing. It's so pretty, I love it, but that's nice to know, too. I didn't think that.
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.