Mid-20th-Century Chinese Jadeite Vase
Well, I know it's a carved jade vessel and we got it in an estate sale about 18 years ago in Nashville. And I really don't know a whole lot about it.
Being an art appraiser is a little bit like being a detective. So one of the very first things that I notice is the material, this icy white color. And if you looked at it really carefully, you'd see that it had a granular kind of structure. This is a material called jadeite. And jadeite is characterized by brilliant emerald-green splashes of color that can range down to kind of a pale-green tone, which is what you have with your example. So we don't have those brilliant emerald-green splashes, which are the most desirable, but on the other hand, it's a large piece of stone that's been carved into a form, which is the second clue. It is a Chinese form. This particular shape is a shape that originated in China from an early period of time, from the Ming Dynasty, all the way through to the present day. Now, the other clue is the decoration, and if you look at this, you see the kind of foliate carved handles. And the loose rings. And the loose rings are there purposely just to show the skill of the carver. And the decoration itself on the main body is an image of a Chinese figure called Guanyin, generally known as the goddess of mercy. On this side, she's accompanied by a carp, which is symbolic of good luck. And we flip it around to the other side, and there we see Guanyin also in a different manifestation with swirling robes, and it's very finely carved. This particular kind of form where you see the very delicate carving is a type of motif that was inspired from Indian Mughal jade carvings. And the nature of the way this is carved, it's actually a fairly heavy vase, and it's fairly thickly sided. Well, the earlier ones and the ones from the early 20th century are very, very thin. So this is something that I would say would likely date from the first quarter to the first half of the 20th century, and they're made for decorative purposes. It's a very nice, big version. So what did you pay for this?
I think we paid approximately around $500.
And you've had some people tell you that it's worth how much?
Well, some people said $1,200 to $1,500.
I would say in an auction market, this is likely to realize somewhere between $12,000 and $18,000 in today's market.
All right, great.
So that's a pretty good bit of compounded interest, isn't it?
Tenfold or so. Yes, I couldn't put money in the bank for that.
I think so. Were this from the late Qing dynasty, it would be valued in the $150,000 to $250,000 range.
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.