Monday, 15 May 2006

Mystery antique: can you identify it and offer a valuation?

What do you do when you find an antique and need to get it identified? There used to be three choices: take it to a museum, a dealer, or an auction house and ask each in turn for an opinion.

The third choice is probably the best course of action because the first might be able to identify it but would be unable (or unwilling) to give you a value, while the second might be able to identify it but could give you a misleading price in the hope that you'll sell it cheap.

Now there's a new choice: ask online, which is what I'm doing here, because I genuinely have no idea who made this hand-painted pottery vase, or what it's worth. I bought it at a car boot sale for very little.

Clearly, it's a quality piece with some age - I'd say mid-Victorian. It's seen better days, though: one handle has been broken (not too expensive to have restored) and the gilding is badly worn. However, the flowers are beautifully painted and the foot is particularly interesting because it is decorated with a fish-scale pattern in deep pink. It measures 26 cms in height and I like it very much.

I just wish I knew which factory made it, who decorated it and what it's worth. All suggestions gratefully appreciated.



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