Bessie Potter Vonnoh sculpture, silver teapot, Uncle Remus bookplates

Created date

September 22nd, 2016
Bessie Potter Vonnoh sculpture, silver teapot, Uncle Remus bookplates

From left, Bessie Potter Vonnoh sculpture, silver teapot, Uncle Remus bookplates

Q: This bronze sculpture belonged to my grandparents. It is about 14” high, 15” front to back, and 12” wide. I tried researching it online, and found a sculpture very much like it called A Young Mother by Bessie Potter Vonnoh. Can you give me any guidance on what it actually is and its value? —Elaine H.

A:  The sculpture is one of the American artist Bessie Potter Vonnoh’s (1872–1955) most important works. She used one of her peers and her son as the model for this particular work. It should also be stamped with the Roman Bronze Works seal. This beautiful depiction should bring $5,000 to $8,000 at auction. 

Q: This teapot has been handed down in my family for at least 75 years. It has no markings on the bottom and stands 8” tall. Can you tell me a little about it and perhaps the value, if any? —Debbie

A:  This is a lovely silver overlay teapot of the early twentieth century. These became very stylish after WWI, in that they were lovely and impressive with the silver over the porcelain. Silver was expensive at the time, which put sterling tea sets out of the realm of possibility of most families. The value today has diminished for this overlay porcelain piece as well as for sterling teapots. The consumer desire is not there in the market, therefore driving the value down. This teapot would sell for about $20 at one of my estate sales. A useful note: The silver can be polished on this piece to a bright shiny finish. Then a mild soap washing will make it the centerpiece of any dining room.

Q: Your consideration to appraise my 8 1/2" x 10 3/4" black and white illustration would be most appreciated.—Robert

A: These are the original bookplates of the etchings for the Uncle Remus series. As nostalgic as these books are, there would be only value in the first original edition of the book in impeccable condition. I see on the title page that this is the third copyright date of the book by this publisher. Also, the book looks as though it has condition issues. I would say that the book itself is worth about $5 with all the pages intact. Individual prints out of a book such as this would have no value. 

Ask the expert

Do you have a family heirloom or special keepsake you think has value? Ask Carolyn Remmey of Remmey Antiques & Fine Art located in New York’s tristate area. 

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