Staffordshire Historical Plate

Value (2013) | $2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction

The least I would really know about it, that my mother had received it from her father. It was handed down from my grandfather, who was at the time of his death about 90 years old. And that's basically all I really know about it.

This is an example of English transfer ware. Originally when they started making pottery and porcelain in a large scale in the 18th century, everything had to be hand-decorated. But they invented transfer decoration, which was an inexpensive way that you could mass-produce things for the public. So the Staffordshire Pottery starting around the 1800s started making millions and millions of pieces of china and pottery, basically, for markets all over the world that people could use. They made patterns with animals, with plants, showing different countries, showing famous people, lovers in the garden-- the designs were just endless. But what's special about this plate is that this was specifically made for the American market. A number of different companies made patterns which showed various scenes of places and buildings and people in the United States which was made specifically to ship here, and those, then, are more interesting to us today because they show part of our heritage-- a part of the history of the United States. This particular plate here has four medallions at the top: we've got "Jefferson," "President Washington" "Welcome Lafayette" and "Governor Clinton." And then we've got two scenes here. Here at the bottom, we have a scene and it's labeled. It says, "View of the Aqueduct Bridge at Little Falls," which relates to the Erie Canal. Also at the top here, we have an additional scene. It's another scene relating to the Erie Canal, which was, of course, a very important structure at that point in history. This particular plate we know is made after 1825 because that's when the Erie Canal opened. A normal plate like this, which just has a normal scene which is very decorative, would be worth around $100, $150, and collectors like them. And American scenes are much more valuable. Usually, they would start at around $200 depending on the scene and the rarity, and they would go up to about $500, $600. However, this particular plate is kind of the holy grail of American historical Staffordshire plates. This particular plate conservatively would sell for about $2,000 or $3,000 for a single plate.

I'm surprised.

So you're very lucky to have inherited a really rare one.

Thank you.

Appraisal Details

David Lackey Antiques & Art
Houston, TX
Update (2013)
$2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
Appraised value (1999)
$2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
Columbus, OH (August 14, 1999)

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.