Ask the Experts: Even a distinct vase loses value because of a crack


LET-QI am looking for someone who could tell me about this vase. It was given to my uncle and aunt for their wedding in about 1957. They lived in Janesville, Wis. Any help is appreciated.
— K.K.

images Your vase is one of a variety made during the mid-20th century as a type of vintage art pottery which was widely popular from the l940s until the early l960s. It was marketed during the Eames period as dripping, mottled, spattered and random gold finish by many potteries including McCoy, Kingwood, Artware, Cameron, Deena and others. Sometimes molds were sold, so without the maker’s mark there is no sure way to know the manufacturer. Collectors normally use the term weeping gold, which is a broad category of pottery and ceramics with the distinctive finish you have on your vase from 1957.

Most pieces, including yours, are not marked except for the stamped label on the bottom stating that the finish is 24 karat gold and made in the USA, or some combination of this gold-vase-001webwith 21 and 22 karat also being seen. Individual items in this category are very collectible but not normally very expensive. Most are found in thrift stores or antique mall booths.

Your tulip vase appears to be about 9 inches tall, which is normal, with an insert in the top opening. These are seen in the marketplace, with a similar piece with different color combinations selling online in 2008. A crack at the top of your vase, seen in the photo, destroys much of the market value. Because these were made in large numbers, a collector probably would not pay very much for your vase but instead wait for another vase without the crack to appear. It has more sentimental value to you as a family treasure than a collectible. If perfect, it would sell for $40 in most regions of the U.S. With gold prices so high today there is a new group seeking the 24-karat label for the gold content alone.


LET-Q I was given a Scrabble board game that looks to be pretty old. It has the board and wooden pieces to play the game with. The box is in fairly good shape, as are all of the game pieces and board. If possible, could you give me an idea as to what this game would be worth on today’s antique market? Any and all help would be greatly  appreciated.                                                     ~T.B

images Appraising is a science based on knowledge of the category and type of item being examined, its history, the method of construction, materials used, etc., together with certain clues. Clues include marks, dates, style, owner’s names, places found, milieu, records of previous owners, etc. Also, patina, weathering, cleaning and wear.

The SCRABBLE Brand Crossword Game could be one of many editions beginning in the 1940s to the present. During this time frame several different companies have owned and marketed the game. Today it is owned by Hasbro. Unfortunately, no photos were sent so there are no clues or points of reference to use as a starting point. Is the game marked COLECO Industries or Selchow & Righter? Is there a date on the box? What amount of wear is present? Are all the wood tiles present? Are there water stains on the box? Without anything to go on, the value could be $1 or $100.

From this discussion it is evident that in making an inquiry as much information as possible should be supplied. The more that is known the more accurate the appraisal will be.

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About our A.I.A. appraiser: Dr. G. Marchelos is an honors graduate and certified appraiser of the Asheford Institute of Antiques. Additionally, Dr. Marchelos has a PhD in history, is a professor of antiquities at the University of Alabama, and is a nationally recognized appraiser working for both private and public institutions across North America. Dr. Marchelos is also a well established antiques dealer, operating both in the U.S. and Europe.