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Auctioneers and Appraisers

Author Archives: Stuart Slavid

The Portland Vase: How Josiah Wedgwood Turned an Ancient Glass Masterpiece into a Ceramic Legacy

Wedgwood Numbered First Edition Copy of the Portland Vase, England, 18th century (Lot 365, Estimate $40,000-$60,000)

One of the most famous surviving Roman works of art, The Portland Vase, is a fused glass vase and was believed to have been made during the reign of Augustus, sometime between 27 BC and AD 14. It consists of two layers, a dark blue overlaid with a soft white. The relief was cameo cut by gem engravers of the highest order and is considered a masterpiece of its kind.… Read More

Troy Dawson Chappell: A Passion for Collecting

Tin Glazed Earthenware Queen Anne Charger, England, c. 1702-14 (Lot 206, Estimate $15,000-$20,000)

Troy D. Chappell was introduced to American and British decorative arts through the collections at Colonial Williamsburg more than fifty years ago. His attraction to English pottery, in particular, began in earnest about 1969. His goal was to assemble and contrast pieces to demonstrate most of the manufacturing materials and forming techniques, manners of shapes and colored decorations, and progression of styles that dominated the English pottery trade for the period of roughly 1630 to 1800.… Read More

Collecting Trends in British Delftware and Dutch Delft

Dutch Delftware Blue and White Five-piece Garniture (Lot 897, Estimate $800-$1,200)

In the 17th and 18th century the manufacturing of tin glazed earthenware in Holland and the British Isles (including Scotland and Ireland) referred to as delft or delftware, was all the rage.

Chinese porcelains strongly influenced much of their designs, first in blue and white and then in the beautiful soft polychrome enamels. Certainly the influx of these porcelains to Holland via the Dutch East India Company helped inspire the beautiful designs and motifs, particularly on the large elegant chargers.… Read More

Collecting Jeweled Coalport Porcelain

Jeweled Coalport Porcelain Three-handled Loving Cup, England, late 19th century (Lot 970, Estimate $800-$1,200)

Established in 1795 in Shropshire, England, Coalport porcelain has a long and storied history of quality craftsmanship dating to the late 18th century. The manufactory produced both ornamental and table wares, beautifully decorated, in a very high standard to meet the demand of discerning patrons.

Late in the 19th century the Coalport manufacturers added yet another specialization to their repertoire of hand decorated porcelains.… Read More

Silver Yacht Trophies Recall a Long History of America’s Cup Races

Are you a yacht enthusiast, braving the ocean waves to spend time sailing or racing? Or perhaps you follow America’s Cup, the prestigious yacht race named after the schooner America, the first winner of the race in 1851. Yachts and yacht clubs have undeniably shaped seaside culture, and silver trophies such as the ones pictured here represent the best of the best in yachting history.

Gorham Sterling Silver Larchmont Yacht Club Trophy Coffeepot, 1888 (Lot 134, Estimate $800-$1,200)

In the 18th and early 19th century, yacht clubs were established in European countries such as Russia, Ireland and Sweden.… Read More

Collecting Wedgwood in an Evolving Market

I’ve written about Wedgwood and the fluctuating antiques market in the past, and I am happy to say that in today’s market, where so many categories of collectible ceramics have softened, Wedgwood is still thriving.  However, the market has changed significantly due to shifting tastes and a changing audience.

Wedgwood Black Basalt Egyptian Club Jug, 1854 (Lot 314, Estimate $500 – $700)

Having been involved with selling Wedgwood for over forty years, it is interesting to see the evolution of the Wedgwood collector.… Read More

A Visit to the 59th Annual Wedgwood International Seminar

A lecture hall at the Wedgwood International Seminar in Alexandria, VA

The 59th Wedgwood International Seminar (WIS) took place this past weekend in Alexandria, Virginia. The annual event features a variety of speakers on Wedgwood-related topics, discussions, field trips to private collections, and much camaraderie. Dealers can display their wares for sale in a large space called the “Sally’s” room.

Usually held towards the end of April each year, the venue changes annually from city to city across the United States and into Canada and the United Kingdom.… Read More

Understanding and Collecting Later Meissen Porcelain

Extensive Meissen Blue Onion Dinner Service, Germany, c.1900, to be offered at auction April 5, 2014 (Lot 378, Estimate $7,000-$9,000)

Since the early 18th century, Meissen has represented the highest quality in German porcelain, and has offered a wide variety of objects, from figures and figural groups to tea wares, dinner services, vases, clock cases, ewers, mirror frames, and so much more. Meissen produced lines of redwares, stonewares, and easily recognizable polychrome-enameled and gilded porcelain figures.… Read More

Watch an Appraisal of a Picasso Designed Madoura Plate on Antiques Roadshow

I’ve been an appraiser on the PBS television series Antiques Roadshow for 18 years, and during each event, I meet hundreds of people who wait in line for hours hoping for a chance to be on the show. Our day starts early, with appraisals beginning at 7:30 AM and running through the early evening. As an expert in European Decorative Arts, I typically stand at the Pottery and Porcelain, Silver, or Decorative Arts table where I greet people and give evaluations of their prized possessions.… Read More

The 2013 American Ceramic Circle Symposium in Houston, Texas

Moche, Peru, north coast, Reclining Feline Vessel, 100-800, Ceramic, from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The American Ceramic Circle or the ACC, as it’s often called, is an annual event composed primarily of collectors, museum scholars, auction houses and dealers, all with an academic interest in the variety of pottery and porcelain produced throughout the centuries and across the world. European Furniture & Decorative Arts specialists, Leah Kingman and Stephanie Opolski, had the pleasure of joining me on this occasion.… Read More

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