Treasure: Vase beautiful, but value down

Khristi Zimmeth
Special to The Detroit News

“I bought this vase in the early 1980s, “wrote Charles Handley of the beautiful art deco- style glass he was interested in having appraised. “I think it was produced at the Verlys factory in France. The name Verlys is molded on the side. I could never find the worth or history."

Charles Handley with his  green vase at the DuMochelles Art Galleries in Detroit on July 17, 2018.
(Max Ortiz/The Detroit News)2018

He added a bit more about the item at the appraisal session held at DuMouchelles downtown, where Mallory Jamett gave him her opinion. He reminisced about buying it three decades ago at a glass show at the Whittier Hotel on East Jefferson near downtown Detroit.

Jamett praised the piece and its classic deco design. “At first I thought this was Lalique,” she told him. “Verlys is often compared to Lalique, which is better known and collected.”

The website has a similar explanation. “Verlys glass was made in Rouen, France, by the Société Holophane Français, a company that started in 1920. It was made in Newark, Ohio, from 1935 to 1951. Verlys molds were leased to the A.H. Heisey company from 1955 to 1957. The art glass is either blown or molded. The American glass is signed with a diamond-point-scratched name, but the French pieces are marked with a molded signature. The designs resemble those used by Lalique. “

Jamett said that the pieces with the etched names seem to be more popular with collectors. Handleys piece has a molded name, which would make it French, she said. She estimated it to date to approximately 1931 to 1935.

Unfortunately, the piece also has some condition issues which would impact its value, including some “flea bites” around the rim and a small crack. That and the fact that the glass market is soft at the moment lead her to give him a lower appraisal than she would have in the past, she told him.

“Generally, glass is down right now even though this is a very nice art deco design. If it were opalescent I’d be able to value it a bit higher, probably about $200, but as is right now this would bring fetch about $100 at auction. Decorative items just aren’t selling well right now. People want mid-century modern, but that can always change. So if you’d love it, I’d say keep it.”

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About this item

Item: Art deco vase

Owned by: Charles Handley

Estimated value: approx.. $100 at auction

Appraised by: Mallory Jamett, DuMouchelles