Minton Commemorative Figures
How did these pieces come to Salt Lake City?
They came via my grandmother, who was from the East Coast. She left them to me when she passed away, and I moved out from the East Coast to Salt Lake City. She told me they were Minton. She told me that she felt that they were very valuable. She also told me that there were very few sets made. I don't know if that's true or not.
Well, I believe she was right. There were very few sets made mainly because they were expensive when they were new, and they were new in 1953. In that year, Queen Elizabeth II became Queen of England. An English sculptor by the name of James Woodford made six-foot high models of these beasts that were called at the time "the queen's beasts." And they stood to attention, if you like, at the entrance to Westminster Abbey. So she and all of the coronation party would have filed past them. And Woodford took his idea from beasts that still exist at Hampton Court. Hampton Court was the royal house of England where the royal family lived before they moved to Buckingham Palace. They're based on a long tradition of using beasts to represent various aspects of heraldry. This one in the center, for instance, represents the lion of England with the shield of the arms of Great Britain on it. This one is the unicorn of Scotland with the heraldic image of Scotland, and across from it is the red dragon of Wales. And they were made as limited editions by the Minton Company. Minton Porcelain was founded in the 1790s and still exists, and it's a very good name in English porcelain. And I think what you've got here is something that is quite rare and I think will certainly gain in value over the years. It's what I like to call an "antique of the future." I estimate the value of the set to be between $4,000 and $6,000.
Oh, gosh. That's great, thank you.
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.
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