Chinese Gilt Decorated Vase, ca. 1900
It belonged to my father-in-law, and he got it from a relative that was in China. I've always liked it, and really just kept it in an out-of-way place.
So the first thing when you look at an object like this is to identify what one can by the shape, and this is Chinese. And this particular shape, with this kind of very tapered neck here and the ovoid body and the high foot, is typical of wares that were made in the late 19th century. The next thing we look at is the decoration. This kind of blue is called powder blue, and this blue was obtained by blowing through a bamboo straw so that you end up with this very even, kind of almost what we would say would be a sprayed surface. It's not dark and light patches that you'd get if you painted it onto the surface. And the gold is applied with very thin sheets, and that is pressed onto an adhesive that is attached to the surface. And then that design is worked into it by removing parts of the gold. And in some instances, it's almost like gold paint they painted on also. So it's a combination of techniques, and you can see in some instances where the brush strokes are placed. Once the glaze is put on, at that point, it's fired in the kiln. That gives it that shiny, protective coat. They fire it again after they put the gold decoration on the surface. And the gilt decoration is terrific. There are emblems of a bat. The bat is a symbol of good luck, among other things. And then you've got this great scene of clouds that are stylized, and flames in the air, and you've got these two wonderful animals: the sinuous, scaly dragon, and here it is in pursuit of a flaming pearl, pearl of longevity, of long life, and the dragon's chasing it. And opposite the dragon, we have this really terrifically rendered phoenix with this great plumage in the back that almost looks like a peacock tail. And the gilded decoration is typical, again, of the late 19th century wares that you find. It would date to right around 1900. One of the other features is this kind of very thin, little brown rim. That color was achieved by the heat of the kiln, and a very distinctive kind of feature that you find on wares from this period. And we look at the underside, and you can see the kind of little reddish color here. That's also the heat of the kiln. No mark, but nevertheless, what a terrific example. It's in great shape. This would sell for $8,000 to $12,000 at auction.
Whoa. That's, uh... That's good to know. I don't think I'll be selling it anytime soon.
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.