Rookwood Pottery Mug, ca 1896

Value (2012) | $1,000 Auction$1,500 Auction

There's actually four mugs and a pitcher that belong to a good friend of mine.

It's a set of four mugs and a pitcher?

Set of four mugs. There... I understand originally there were six, and there's four left in the set now that I have, and the pitcher. And they belonged to her grandfather. And she inherited them, and then she gave them to me.

Let me tell you a few things about what you've got. The reason we see so much Rookwood is they were in business for 80 years. And so there's a lot of it out there. And they made all different sorts of decorative styles. They made Victorian and Art Nouveau and Art Deco and Modern, things like that. What you have is a Victorian period, a late Victorian period mug. The date on the bottom of this piece-- you can tell by the flame marks that Rookwood used-- this dates about 1896 or 1897. I didn't count every flame. So it's late Victorian period, and it's typical of that period. It's a standard brown glazeware where the decoration is painted on, and then this kind of transparent brownish-colored glaze covers the artwork, giving it a sort of muted style, which was very popular at the time. Aside from the pot being marked by the company, this is a production mark, which gives you the shape number. And over here is the artist's signature, which... it's a little faint, but it looks to me like it's Harriet Strafer, who was known for painting some of the portraitures. Do you have any idea what these are worth?

I absolutely do not.

Well, assuming they're all perfect, and this one is...

They're all in the same condition, as is the pitcher. They're all...

Well, the mug... and you would multiply this by four. These are worth $1,500 apiece. So your mugs are worth about $6,000, and your tankard's worth about another $2,500 to $3,000. So you have a set worth somewhere around $7,500, $8,000 for the set.

I had no idea.

And if you can get the other two mugs back, aside from $1,500 apiece, the whole set might bump up a little bit more, because full sets are worth a little more than individual pieces.

Appraisal Details

Rago Arts & Auction Center
Lambertville, NJ
Update (2012)
$1,000 Auction$1,500 Auction
Appraised value (1997)
$1,500 Auction
San Francisco, CA (August 09, 1997)

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