Recent eBay pottery sales prove interesting

No matter what your feelings are about eBay, that is, if you have any one way or the other, there is no question that it is a powerful marketing tool for selling everything imaginable. Whether you’re in the market for attendance at a once-in-a-lifetime event or for “the world’s greatest record collection,” you can always find something interesting on eBay.

Here are some interesting pottery items that have recently sold on eBay that I thought I would share with the Antique Trader readers. I’ve included the item numbers, in case you want to peruse eBay yourselves and check out more details on, or see more images of, these items. All prices listed exclude shipping and insurance.

The first item up for discussion was described (in all caps, which I will forgo) as “A+ huge art pottery Deco Era Fulper loop handled vase” [eBay item number 190206892906]. Starting at just $4.99, this vase sold on March 22, 2008, for a final price of $767.88 after 32 bids. The vase was further described as (again, in all caps) “Wonderful massive early 20th C Fulper art pottery vase. Fulper is the attribution. I suspect this once once had a paper label. It’s about the size of a bowling ball. 10.5"T x about 12"W.”

The Fulper vase was described as being in good condition with “minute” edge wear, glaze nips and faint crazing. All in all, it looked to be a beautiful piece. After a bit of discussion in the Q&A forum, everyone seemed to come to agreement that the vase in question was, indeed, Fulper.

EBay is no different in any other auction in that the buyer needs to know what they’re bidding on; all the responsibility of a satisfactory transaction does not lie only with the seller. After all, how many items on eBay are described as “scarce,” “rare,” and other synonyms of the like, which may not actually be the case.

Next up for discussion is an absolutely beautiful stoneware crock that sold on March 26, 2008. The auction was titled “Antique Stoneware Crock S. Hart Fulton Dog and Bird” [eBay item number 320229899265]. After starting at just $9.99, the crock ended up selling at $4,300 after 12 bidders placed 22 bids.

The seller wrote, “Very unusual double sided design on 6 gallon stoneware crock from S. Hart Fulton, NY.  The front is a dog carrying a basket in his mouth and the back is a bird. The crock has damage on the side from the kiln firing process, it is in the glaze and not post firing damage. The dog design is very clear.  There is one very tiny chip on the rim, otherwise the crock is in excellent condition. The design is dark and vivid. A beautiful stoneware piece!”

Judging by the pictures they posted for the auction, I have to agree, though the glaze shortcomings are unfortunate. The seller even posted an image of the tiny chip, and it is truly tiny. There wasn’t even any discussion as to the originality or the condition due to all the clear, relevant images the seller posted. With over 1,700 views of this auction listing, this piece created a lot of interest.

A beautiful ancient Turkish charger that was labeled “An IZNIK Pottery Dish Turkey 16th-17th Century,” located in France, caught my eye. After starting at $1,950, five bids pushed the selling price up to $3,374 when the auction ended March 22, 2008 [eBay item number 170202090165].

The seller described the item as follows: “An Iznik pottery Dish decorated in polychrome with a central "saz" leaf amongst roses , tulips and other flowers, the sloping rim with rocks and wawes (sic) design, the exterior with a band of cursory flowerheads . 29,5 cm Diam. Turkey. End 16th – Early 17th Century.”

It appears this beautiful Turkish plate will now have a new home in the United Kingdom.

A lovely Rookwood vase with a timeless design that was made over 80 years ago is next up for discussion. This auction was labeled, “1925 Rookwood Art Pottery Pine Cone Vase / Signed HEW” [eBay item number 360033320731]. The “Large 17" Lobed Pinecone Vase / Harriet E Wilcox 2827A” started out at just 99 cents, and after 12 bidders placed 31 bids, the auction ended March 24, 2008, and this beautiful vase found a new home for $2,025.01.

This one has an interesting description: “This is a wonderful 17" hand painted Rookwood vase we listed on Ebay several weeks ago and we said it was in perfect condition with no chips, cracks or crazing and to the best of our knowledge no repairs. Since then, with help from the high bidder, we now realize that there has been a professional repair on the one of the lobes at the base. I cannot tell you exactly what the damage was but it was probably larger than a chip. This appears to be a very professional restoration and is extremely difficult to detect but I want the high bidder to be aware of it. There are a couple of minor manufacturing flaws but nothing serious enough to go into detail about. The bottom is well marked with the XXV date, the number 2827A and the artist initials H.E.W. After some research we found out that the artist was Harriet (Hattie) E. Wilcox who was one of the more famous artists that worked for Rookwood.”

I wonder what it sold for the first time …

Arts and Crafts pieces are always extremely popular, so I’ll end my discussion with an “Arts and Crafts American Art Pottery Vase ~1900” [eBay item number 260220118080]. The starting bid was just $9.99, and after 17 bidders made a total of 30 bids, the vase was sold for an even $1,000 when the auction closed March 20, 2008.

The seller described the item as follows: “Here we have out of an estate some years ago is an Arts and crafts American art pottery vase. So finely done with raised flowers encircling the vase. Deep green colors and fine olive skin feel. Just an amazing example that is old. The lines are simply arts and crafts at its best. So fine. Standing 8" tall with a diameter of 5 1/2" Some impressed mark that looks like a G on the bottom.  No chips, cracks or repairs. No reserve!”

As you can see from the picture, it is a fine vase that anyone would be proud to have in their collection.

As I look at all the details and statistics of items crossing eBay’s virtual auction block, including the auction views, the number of bidders, the sheer immensity of items available, I can’t help but conclude that, at least for the time being, it’s still a robust and thriving marketplace for buyers and sellers.

Feel free to visit the Antique Trader Blog (www.antiquetrader.com/atblog/) or the Antique Trader Forums to comment about this or other stories you see in your antique studies.

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