Owens Pottery Portrait Vase

Value (2012) | $1,500$2,000
Watch  

GUEST:
A neighbor of my father's gave it to him in 1970, and my mother didn't like it, so my father gave it to me, and I've enjoyed it ever since.

APPRAISER:
Well, let me tell you a few things about it. One of the most famous potteries made in America was the Rookwood pottery from Cincinnati, Ohio. And they were so famous that many people tried to copy what they did and capitalize on their success. And one of the more popular glazes that Rookwood produced late part of the 19th century was their standard brown glaze. And it was a brown coating that covered flowers and portraits and all sorts of designs. And neighboring Zanesville, Ohio, about 90 miles away, had a number of companies that were copying work done by Rookwood. There's Weller and Roseville, and this is an example of the Owens Pottery Company, made in Zanesville, Ohio. It's not only just a portrait, which would be rare enough. But as you can see, there's actually a scene on the front of a monk. It's more than a bust, it's a half-body. He's got some objects in his hand, there's a lot going on here. Furthermore, the artist on this piece, who was Arthur Williams, is probably the best portrait painter that Zanesville had. He also worked for Roseville. I don't think he worked for Weller. They were sort of an incestuous group. They went from company to company. But Williams was regarded as the best portrait painter in Zanesville, most lifelike, and very seldom will you see an Owens portrait done by Arthur Williams. There are some things I want to point out that make this second-level. For example, this manufacturing flaw over here. You won't see that on a piece of Rookwood. They would have Xed it. Okay, also on the inside right up here, there is...see the drip inside there? Also typical of a ware that is less expensive when it was made. I will show the mark for one second here to show you. It says Owens and Utopian dye-stamped into the bottom of the pot, which is their name for their brown glaze ware. So while worth less than it would be if it were a piece of Rookwood, it still has a fair amount of value on today's market. The condition, by the way, is excellent. Really perfect, original condition. I would clean it up. I'd say it's worth about $2,500, reasonably.

GUEST:
(exhales)

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Rago Arts & Auction Center
Lambertville, NJ
Update (2012)
$1,500$2,000
Appraised value (1998)
$2,500
Event
Louisville, KY (July 11, 1998)
Period
19th Century
Form
Vase
Material
Pottery

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.