A tale of two vases: One worth a bundle; the other – not so much

Q I got this vase at a yard sale. It is 11 inches tall and looks like it’s made of plaster of Paris. It had several chips in it that I repaired and was pale green and white in color. The inside has a lead liner. There is no name or marking, and it has been repainted in the color it is now.7PeopleJar.jpg
– B.M., Wright City, Mo.

A I believe your tall oval vase with the molded figures is made of plaster-of-Paris and was produced in the early 20th century. Without a marking it is difficult to pin down exactly where and when it was made but it could be from Europe. Quite a number of bust statues and other figural items were made of this material in this country and abroad. I suspect your piece was given a dark stain to make it look really “antique.” Although some of the best of the figural busts and figures are gaining in collector value I suspect the value of your vase would be fairly modest, perhaps in the $25-$35 range.

Q This vase is 11? inches tall and 3 inches wide. It has the name Barnaby Rudge in raised letters and an L-M on the side. On the bottom it looks like the name Miller. Under the glaze there is a little crazing. Is it worth anything? 9TallVase.jpg
– B.M., Wright City, Mo.

A This unique vase is quite a treasure. It is part of the early Weller Pottery line called “Dickensware III.” There were also Dickensware II and I lines that are also collectible, but Dickensware III version is the most rare of the three. It was introduced around 1905 and was apparently designed by a famous pottery artist of that era, Frederick H. Rhead. He worked at several potteries during his career and was highly respected. Although he designed the line he didn’t necessarily apply the painted decoration, which features various characters from Dickens novels. Because of the large size of this vase and the apparent excellent condition I believe it could be valued in the $1,000-$1,500 range at least.

Q I’m interested in selling this tapestry. It is 7 feet by 6 feet. It is a pleasant scene and is in good condition. 16tapestry.jpgPlease advise what price might it sell for, and any other information you can offer.
–J.W., Woodlands, Texas

A From your description it is a little difficult for me to determine the age and origins of this large tapestry. It was most likely machine-woven in the late 19th or early 20th century and may reproduce a painting of the 18th or early 19th century. Sometimes such pieces will have a small printed mark with the name of the country of origin somewhere on the back. Many came out of Belgium and northern France. Since it is a nice scene and appears to be in fine condition I think it could be valued in the $500-$1,000 range in the right market.

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