Thomas Commereau Stoneware Jug

Value (2013) | $3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Watch  

APPRAISER:
Tell us how you found this stoneware piece.

GUEST:
I dig old bottle dumps and I dug for six months, and then I dug that up.

APPRAISER:
What is a bottle dump?

GUEST:
It's where the old wagons used to turn, make a turn and get rid of their garbage. Instead of feeding the rats near the house, they'd rather feed the critters and they'd throw their bottles and everything out of the way that they didn't use their land for, I guess.

APPRAISER:
Sort of a dump.

GUEST:
I used a pick, and I drove it in the ground real slow and I hit something, and I pulled it out and I turned the pick over, and I dug it out and then I hit the crock, and I didn't know what it was. I couldn't find the end of it.

APPRAISER:
Did you ever have it appraised or looked at?

GUEST:
Yes, I had someone look at it.

APPRAISER:
And what did they think about it? What did they think it was worth?

GUEST:
He offered me $400 for it.

APPRAISER:
$400? Well, it is in fact a stoneware jug. Do you know who made it?

GUEST:
Corlears Hook, I believe.

APPRAISER:
Corlears Hook. Well, it's a great old ceramic body salt-glazed stoneware. They threw salt in a kiln to get this wonderful mottled surface and in fact, it does say "Corlears Hook," but that is not the guy who made it. That's the place in which it was made. It was actually... this is the mark of Thomas Commereau, who is a stoneware potter from the Lower East Side of New York City at the end of the 18th century. And he's known for these early ovoid shapes. And if you smell it, there's even a linseed-oil smell that's coming out of it, and that's what we think these jugs were used for. And its actual worth is $3,000 to $5,000.

GUEST:
Wow. That's beautiful.

APPRAISER:
Isn’t that great?

GUEST:
It's a ten-minute dig. (laughs)

Appraisal Details

Value Update (2013)
$3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Value Update (2013)
$3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Appraised value (1999)
$3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Event
Providence, RI (August 21, 1999)
Period
18th Century
Form
Jug
Material
Stoneware
December 23, 2013: We contacted appraiser John Hays for an updated appraisal in today's market.

Current Appraised Value: $3,000 - $5,000 (Unchanged)

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.