Gio Ponti Plaques, ca. 1925
My dad bought these at an estate sale about... probably in the late '60s from an elderly couple that were friends of theirs and they had purchased them in Italy. When I did a little research on them, I found they were made by a designer named Gio Ponti in the early '20s. He'd been trained as an architect and this was his first real job. When he was asked about this period of his life, he felt he was a failed architect and that he was just a draftsman now, so these where his draftings. But he rose to be the head of design for this company, and then he later was kind of considered to be the godfather of modern Italian design and fulfilled his ambitions of being an architect and designed the Pirelli Tower. That's about all I know about him.
Well, when doing these, he did work for the Richard Ginori ceramic manufacturer, and I will show you a mark on the back. He was there between 1923 and 1930, so that's when these would've been done. And here is the mark right here. This is made in Italy, and these have a wonderful, very modern, very industrial look to them. They're extremely exciting. Even something like this, which is in black and white, is so strong graphically. The way these are decorated... these are partly transfer-printed, but they're also painted by hand over that. Now, he did these designs for many different media. He did plates, he did vases, and he did tiles. Now, we have had several tiles-- much smaller, eight-inch tiles-- go from $550 to $1,500 a tile. Large ones like this, which are so rare and so fabulous-- easily $5,000 apiece.
Oh, no. Really?
Yeah, these are really great. This kind of stuff is so hot right now.
I love them. I would never sell them.
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.