‘My mom made me promise I’d find out more about it,” Lynn Pellerito of Grosse Pointe Park told independent appraiser Brian Thomczek at a recent Trash or Treasure day held at the Michigan Design Center in Troy. “I’ve always kept it away from any kids or cats,” she added with a laugh.
The piece in question is a vase marked “Bonn Germany” with the numbers 1755 and 3300-2. Thomczek said that the numbers are the dates and the product number. It also has a hallmark that looks like FAM with a crown.
Thomczek said that the piece is an example of the many beautiful pieces of porcelain produced in Germany, both in Bonn and in Dresden. He identified the maker as Royal Bonn, and said that Pellerito’s piece is an example of one of their older vases. “That and the size would appeal to collectors,” he told her.
“It’s been in the family at least 75 years,” she told him about its provenance. Measuring 16 inches high and 7 inches in diameter, it features flowers and gilding and would be appreciated by ceramics collectors for its quality and design, he told her. He estimated its age at probably late 19th to early 20th century, saying that it would be marked $450 in an antique shop and would bring less at auction, which represents a wholesale value.
“I don’t feel any real emotional attachment to it, so bye-bye,” quipped Pellerito after finding out its value. “I’m trying to clear out a bit.”
Thomczek told her that she’d find an interested buyer if she ultimately decided to sell. “The market is down for porcelain, but there are always collectors interested in pieces like this. You could definitely sell it.”
Pellerito also brought in a 23 by 16-inch print by Anthony van Dyck, a 17th-century Flemish artist who later worked for the English court. “It came from a collector who gave it to my mom,” she told the appraiser. “I’ve tried to do research but reached a dead end.”
The artist lived from 1599 to 1641 and worked in prints and etchings early in his career and later in oils, said the appraiser. The problem is not with the age of the piece, but with the market for it. “Even though this is really an old etching, they don’t bring a lot of money at auction, unfortunately,” he told her, adding that he’d value it at $250 retail and less at auction. He recommended she get it re-framed if she wants to keep it. “This definitely needs acid free backing or it will start to eat away at it.” He recommended she contact Ken Katz at Conservation & Museum Services in Detroit (conservationandmuseumservices.com) for restoration.
“It has nice subject matter — birds and children in a garden,” he explained. Pellerito was happy to find out more about the print but admits she had hoped for a bigger price tag. “Looks like I’m not retiring yet,” she said.
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About this item
Item: Vase and print
Owned by: Lynn Pellerito
Appraised by: Brian Thomczek
Estimated value: $450 and $250