1950s Pablo Picasso Ceramic Jug

Value (2003) | $5,000 Auction

I know it's a Picasso vase, and it was a present from very dear friends for my high school graduation, and that was 1965. So I think, you know, they must have gotten it around that time and they traveled a lot to Europe.

So do you think they actually picked this up in France?

I would imagine that they did. In Vallauris.

Maybe in Vallauris. Right. Picasso, throughout his extraordinary career, probably oftentimes felt he wanted to make a creative leap forward, do something that's out of the ordinary for him. What he did was went down to southern France, and this was in the '50s, and felt like he needed maybe to stretch his creative muscles a little bit, so he formed this collaboration with Madoura Pottery in Vallauris. And if you look at the bottom here-- let me turn this over here-- it says "Edition Picasso 181/300." Now, that's the edition size, okay? And just like a print, this would have been part of a larger edition. Now, Picasso would have overseen the overall design of the piece and would have overseen it only in its barest sense as far as making it is concerned, but it is a limited-edition Picasso ceramic.

Would Picasso have touched it and worked on it?

No. Picasso would have actually done the maquette, which is a model, and he would have actually hand-decorated that, and that would have formed the basis by which the artisans at Madoura would have finished this particular jug. Now, looking at the subject matter, at least with the horse and the warrior, because he is carrying a sword, I think it is probably a Cervantes... a Don Quixote reference here. He did a number of these. He did jugs, he did bowls, he did platters with a whole bunch of different scenes, and probably his better scenes are related to bullfighting, of which he was particularly fond, equestrian and figures from that time period, jugs being the most valuable of the group. Now, okay, it's important that we note that in certain quarters, there are people who have thought, "Well, this is just a copy of a Picasso," so for many, many years, these were not considered real Picasso, but more tourist things. You know, you'd go through France, you have a good time, pick up a Picasso at Madoura, but, as the years go by, this form that Picasso has done, it gains in popularity and value. They become more expensive. Any idea what it's worth?

I really don't know, but I would imagine, um... maybe $500 to $800, something like that.

(laughs) Actually, that's... you know... they might have been worth that a fair piece ago, but you know what? It's probably worth around $5,000 now.

Oh, my gosh!

In good condition, a great form. (chuckling) Isn't that great?

Yeah, that's really great.

Appraisal Details

Marvin & Whitehurst Appraisal Group
Stuart, FL
Update (2003)
$5,000 Auction
Appraised value (2003)
$5,000 Auction
San Francisco, CA (August 16, 2003)

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