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Antiques Considered - October 7, 2009

A collector from Richmond has these four Bristol vases, which are in excellent condition.  They are colored glass with painted decorations, and the white vase second from left has a note indicating that at one time it had sold for $50.
These vases all originated in Bristol, England, the great nineteenth-century English glass manufacturing center.  I do not think the particular factory of any of them could be discerned.  They date from the mid-nineteenth century, and reflect the typical Victorian flamboyant taste of the period.
The one on the left show good artistry in the execution of the floral painting, and is worth $50.  The second from left is shaped quite well, and worth $65.  The third one has fine shape, but the painting is of lesser quality.  It is worth $75.
The tallest one on the right is the best of the lot.  It demonstrates all of the High Victorian tastes as to shape, color and decoration.  The shade is a deep taupe and the colors of the painted flowers harmonize with it quite successfully.   This one is worth $85.

Regrettably, each of these vases once was one of a pair.  Had they remained with their partners, the values would be more than double.  The designers and makers intended for them to be display on opposite sides of a mantel or sideboard or cabinet.  Once separated a single member of a pair loses much of its intrinsic value.
Victorian arts are more popular than they were a generation ago, and are finding new roles as accent pieces in collections.  Many Bristol vases have fallen into the fate of being drilled and made into electric lamps.  By doing so, one eviscerates their value, regardless of how attractive the lamp might be.
Most likely the mates to these vases either wound up broken or the victims of family divisions among heirs.  I suggest looking on the Internet to see if any suitable mates are available.  If so, they might prove to be good investments, as well as enhancements to these vases.
Happy Antiquing...

 

narfe

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