Trash or Treasure? Delft classic but value down
“We used to go to Wiesbaden,” Glenn Sloan recently explained to Brian Thomczek at an appraisal session held at the Michigan Design Center of Troy. It was on a visit in 2000 that he and his wife, Cindy, purchased a number of pieces at a gallery that was liquidating. Along with those vases, he brought the business card and sales receipt from Hermien de Beisac, the antiquarian shop where the pieces were purchased.
The three pieces they purchased include a main vase with two side vases, including tops. All are examples of Delft pottery, a well-known Dutch manufacturer that has been made and exported for centuries.
Holland.com includes a handy history of the pottery: “Delft Blue is the world-famous pottery that has been produced in the city of Delft since the 17th century. Between 1600 and 1800, it was popular among rich families who would show off their Delft Blue collections to one another. Although the Delftware potters preferred to call their pottery “porcelain,” it was only a cheaper version of the real Chinese porcelain. Delft Blue was not made from the typical porcelain clay, but from clay that was coated with a tin glaze after it was fired. In spite of this, Delft Blue achieved unrivalled popularity, and at its peak, there were 33 factories in Delft. Of all of these factories, the only one remaining today is Royal Delft.”
The Sloans’ works are marked with the initials AK and 30, something they had researched and attributed to Adriaen Kocks, who died in the early 1700s. Delft was made at the DeGriexe factory from 1701 to 1886, Sloan told the appraiser.
Thomczek didn’t dispute the age of the pieces or the background information Sloan had shared. “These are definitely 18th-century pieces,” he told him. “They are part of what is known as a garniture set and were made to be put on a mantel. It’s important and rare that you have all of the pieces, including the tops.”
Sloan said they paid $800 for the set. Thomczek said the market for Delft, like many antiques, is down at the moment, but that the couple’s pieces would still bring $1,000 to $1,500 at auction if they were to sell.
Thomczek praised the pottery pieces, calling them “museum quality.” He added that the works would bring more if the Sloans were to sell them in Europe. “If you do decide to sell, I would definitely look overseas,” he said. “They are great pieces but right now the market is down.”
Poor market or not, the Sloans plan on keeping the pieces. “We have an extensive set of Delft,” Glenn explained.
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About this item
Item: Delft pottery
Owned by: Glenn and Cindy Sloan
Appraised by: Brian Thomczek
Estimated value: $1,000 to $1,500