Lanier Meaders Face Jug & Pot, ca. 1950
GUEST 1: Uncle Steve's daughter's husband, Lanier, is the one that makes these. That's our second cousin. And Mother and Daddy used to go up and visit with them, and see Uncle Steve, and they would go up there a lot, and she brought this and some other small pitchers, um...
So she's got a collection of them? GUEST 1: She's got several of them, yeah, she keeps this one on top of the-- above the cabinet, and this one's in the entryway, and it's got a little brother that sits there with it, so that's... GEUST 2: I think it's probably about six or eight pieces we've got all together.
Really? Now, this is called a face jug or a grotesque jug. And when they were first made, they were used to put vinegar in them, lamp oil, moonshine, whatever, and a lot of these go all the way back into the 19th century. And what has happened is that people in the national market have discovered their uniqueness, their Southern-ness, shall we say, and so there's a lot of interest in them now. And one other thing I wanted everybody to see was the teeth down here and these grotesque features. They were exaggerated features, I think, to make them more decorative. They actually took pieces of broken china to make the teeth out of. Now, this piece probably was made more for decorative purposes. It was hand-thrown, and then they would mold the decoration and put colors over top of it. You can see where they have green on the flowers and blue on the grapes. And Lanier Meaders almost always signed his pottery on the bottom, and both of these have his scripted signature right here. You were telling me that one of the pieces that he made, your mom actually wrote her name in the bottom of it? GUEST 2: Yeah, she wanted to make sure she got it. He made it especially for her and wanted to make sure she got it, so...
Yeah. And you told me, you still have the original bill of sales on these, too. GUEST 2: Yes.
You've got to remember that they've been doing this for successive generations now. Other members of his family are also potters. And Lanier became very popular in the '70s. The thing that's important about these is that they go back before he was into such large mass production. You were thinking maybe in the '50s? GUEST 2: Yeah, early '50s.
Early '50s, okay. Their production level wasn't nearly as high then, and the people who collect these are much more interested in the ones that came along in the early years than they are the ones that came along later. These molded pieces like this have been bringing anywhere from $1,200 to $2,800. And the face jugs, different price ranges, depends on the size, depends on the detail of the decoration, but they'll go anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. I figure this one right here's probably worth about $2,500. GUEST 2: Wow. GUEST 1: That's great.
And I think putting things like this grotesque jug in your house is an acquired taste. I mean, have y'all ever thought about putting it in your house? GUEST 1: No. (laughing)
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.