Newcomb College Chocolate Set, ca. 1905

Value (2003) | $50,000 Auction$60,000 Auction

It was about six years ago, I was in New Orleans on another particular business and had a dear friend with me that wanted me to look at some antiques. And I saw this. I fell in love with it, and I bought it predominately just to keep and look at and enjoy and for a long-term investment for my children.

We've done a lot of Newcomb College on the show over the years, and at this point, we have to like it a lot for us to do some more of it. And this is a particularly beautiful set. It's a chocolate set, and the way you know that is because the spout is at the top instead of a teapot or coffeepot, tends to come from the middle. What's good about this is it's early and it's high glaze. But a lot of the early high-glaze stuff is decorated in bands as opposed to being decorated from top to bottom and in the full round such as this. This is also a landscape, and a lot of Newcomb College pottery tends to be floral, whereas this has a stylized landscape. And on top of that, there's this great yellow background color. There's a lot happening here. It's graphically bold. These are all hand-thrown, so the decoration all has to be done individually on each one from start to finish. There was probably a sixth cup and saucer at one point, okay. There's only five of these now. And you mentioned, this had damage on it?


This is actually not a chip. You'll see three little marks. What happens is, these were held up off the floor of the kiln by a little stilt and three prongs, and when they took the stilt off, they took a little chip off the base of it. So that's a manufacturing flaw.


We know the date of this. That "Q" mark means before 1905. And it's Henrietta Bailey, the artist. Obviously, when these were made 100 years ago, they were meant to be used, and I can tell from inside of it, it's been used over the years. But also it was meant to be a beautiful art object that, when you had it out on the sideboard when you weren't using it, would add beauty to the home. So it had a dual purpose. I don't think they knew it would be such a collectible 100 years later. You bought this for investment. How much did you pay for this?


Okay, so, you paid a fair amount of money for it when you bought it.


But these alone have to be worth between $5,000 and $7,500 apiece, okay, and you've got five of them. And the chocolate pot itself, it's got to be... it's got to be a $25,000, $30,000 chocolate pot. I mean, to me, it's a $50,000 to $60,000 set.

No kidding.

It's beautiful. Glad to see it.

Thank you very much. I'm very happy.

Appraisal Details

Rago Arts & Auction Center
Lambertville, NJ
Appraised value (2003)
$50,000 Auction$60,000 Auction
Savannah, GA (July 12, 2003)
20th Century
Coffee set
November 14, 2011: We contacted appraiser David Rago for an updated appraisal of this object in today's market.

Current Appraised Value: $30,000 - $40,000 (Decreased)

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