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Antiques Considered - April 17, 2013

A gentleman in Middlesex County purchased this Roseville cider pitcher many years ago.  It has been a prized possession in his home, but now he is considering selling it.  The condition is perfect, and the piece is not artist-signed.  The colors remain vivid.  He has inquired as to the current value, and does not recall what he paid for it.

The pitcher is a product of the popular Roseville pottery factory of Roseville, Ohio, and dates from the early twentieth-century.  Roseville pieces complement the development of the Arts and Crafts Movement, representing a form of genuine craftsmanship that eschewed what the artists of the period considered artificial.

Roseville has increased in value over the last 30 years, with the artist-signed pieces bringing into the high hundreds of dollars.  This example is one of the better designs, and was targeted for the Southern market with its “Magnolia” pattern.  The Roseville factory closed some years ago, but the city of Roseville remains justifiably proud of its pottery heritage.  A fine museum of its wares is now the central tourist attraction in the city.

From 1890 down to 1920, the Arts and Crafts Movement redirected the course of American design to a more authentic, real-life production.  Gustav Stickley led the new phase with his furniture that bespoke a simpler, more direct lifestyle.

This cider pitcher is worth $250 today, whereas in the 1960s the value would have been under $50., again illustrating the point that good antiques make good investments.  A practical rule of thumb to follow when buying an antique is not to buy anything unless you would be willing to live with it permanently.  If one buys pieces that he or she likes, the investment angle will take care of itself.

Happy Antiquing!

 

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