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Judith-on-Antiques, Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 8243
Experience:  A noted expert, author, TV personality, appraiser and columnist. President, Association of Online Appraisers. Author of 3 books on collecting.
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I am the senior member of Americas oldest and largest

Customer Question

I am the senior member of Americas oldest and largest continuously operating family pottery in the US - going back into the 1700's.
JA: I always love having an appraiser look at my stuff. Sometimes its turned out to be surprisingly valuable. Tell us what else you do know and the Antiques Appraiser will be able to better assist you.
Customer: I would like to know what value to put on the large vase my Grandfather made in 1926. The vase and family have been written up in many, many books on southern pottery as well as magazine and newspaper articles.
JA: Is there anything else the Antiques Appraiser should be aware of?
Customer: This for insurance value. The vase is going to have to be moved - how can I get a pic to you, unless you have seen pics of it. The vase is 6ft, 2in tall.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Doris - dfm925 replied 7 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is Doris.
I have been an antiques and art collector as well as a dealer and appraiser for over 56 years.
I will be pleased to help you.

Photos are almost always required to give an accurate assessment.

Can you send me a photo of the vase?

Can you send me a photo of the marks on the bottom?

You may need to use the macro function (flower icon) of your camera to get a good clear photo of the marks.

If you cannot get a good photo, then sketch the marks and take a photo of the sketch.

To send photos you may use the "add files" in the blue box link on your reply page or the "paper clip" found in the toolbar you see on your reply page.
Please do not send in ZIP format. The jpg or jpeg format works best.

An explanation of this method can be found here:

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Good morning, Doris.The vase is 6ft 2in and there is no mark on the bottom. :) History of the family and pictures of the vase can be seen at, my family web site. Go to "introduction" link and vase is last pic on the rt., bottom - click to enlarge.Also, have attached a file of vase with my Grandfather and Herman Bishop, who helped make the vase.The vase has to be moved and we need to insure it.Tks for the help - ***** *****
Expert:  Doris - dfm925 replied 7 months ago.


Thank for the important, informative photo of the vase with it's well documented provenance.

I am able to determine an insurance value range for your grandfather's vase would be $5500-6500 assuming good condition and depending on geographic location.

I hope I have helped you.

If I can help you with further questions about this answer, please let me know before you rate me.

All my answers are quoted in USA dollars.

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Kind regards.


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Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Doris, this doesn't make much sense as it was reported back in the 1960's that one of Grandpa's 5 gallon Devil face jugs sold for $65,000.00. Another one of his other 5 gal Devil jugs is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art - - and in the Penland collection. Some of his pieces are in the Smithsonian and other museums. There are several of these Devil jugs around. This vase is one of a kind - and the history of it is impressive. In one of the many books in which the family is named it was stated by one of the old timers that there was a competition among the potters to see who could make the largest piece - "When word came down from Arden that Davis Brown had made one over 6 ft high, the competition was over."If you are not familiar with southern pottery or the history, suggest you ask someone that is.***** *****
Expert:  Doris - dfm925 replied 7 months ago.

I researched historic 6 foot vases.

Let me check again.

I can certainly see with that history of Brown Pottery values yours would be worth much, much more.

I will certainly revise my estimate but I want to be sure.

Let me do more research.

Kind regards,


Expert:  Doris - dfm925 replied 7 months ago.

I will certainly release your question so that another pro will take it per your request.

When they see that new history information, I am sure they can give you a revised estimate.

Kind regards,


Expert:  Judith-on-Antiques replied 7 months ago.

Hello Jim,

My name is ***** ***** I"m happy to help.

is this a devil face jug? If not is there any other decoration on it?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Judith, can you read what has come before you came on? I posted some info on the vase - size, etc. If not, I can re-post.Might look at for family info and history.***** *****
Expert:  Judith-on-Antiques replied 7 months ago.


I read all the previous conversation. So, there is no decoration on this piece?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Good morning, Judith.No, no decoration on the vase. Go to - bottom photo is a pic of the vase. Also, the attached files - big vase in background of original Arden, NC shop in 1926.Take care - ***** *****
Expert:  Judith-on-Antiques replied 7 months ago.

Thanks, Jim.

I have no reason to question the authenticity of this vase, nor the popularity of the devil face jugs. But, this piece is undecorated. The reason the devil face jugs command such high prices is because of this decoration. A plain, undecorated piece fro the pottery is still a desirable collectible, but its market value is nothing like that of the devil jugs. It is indeed one of a kind, but people buy these things to display and, despite its impressive size, it doesn't have the decorative impact of a decorated piece. Even so it has a wonderful pedigree, and that is worth something.

This vase should be insured for $12,000.

I hope this answer has been helpful to you, Jim.

If you have any further questions or problems concerning this answer, please let me know.

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Thank you so much!

Expert:  Judith-on-Antiques replied 7 months ago.

Hi Jim,

I am just checking in to see if you have any additional questions about this item. I need your positive rating! Could you very kindly rate my services (with the stars or "accept" button) as this is how I get paid by JustAnswer, at no extra cost to you.