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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 5607
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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Robert, I inherited two vases from my parents. These were given to them nearly 60 years

Customer Question

Hi Robert, I inherited two vases from my parents. These were given to them nearly 60 years ago by my grandfather. He worked as an auctioneer and felt these were going to be of great value and pay for their retirement? I know nothing of their origin or period. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Robert S. replied 2 years ago.
Hi! This is Robert here, I would be glad to help with your grandfather's vases, they sound most interesting.Can you very kindly attach photos of them and of the bottoms (whether they are marked or not) and give me the heights.Just click on the paperclip to attach photos....Many thanks and wait to hear.Robert
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i don't see a paperclip to attach the files and when I click on the ADD FILES tab it tells me the file is not supported. I have pictures on my I phone that I would like to send you. The vases are about 14" tall and and about the same in circumference. Each one looks hand painted and have different faces on each. I will supply photos when I can attach.
Expert:  Robert S. replied 2 years ago.
Hi There,Thanks for the update. I'm not sure how you did it, but a picture came through perfectly!This one: you can figure out how it got there and do the same again, then we're home free!Please go ahead and attach photos of the bottoms too. Even if unmarked there are features there that provide important clues as to age and origin. I don't know what you are seeing exactly on your screen your end, but you should see the paperclip item just above and connected to the box where you are typing to me. Incidentally, communication is a whole lot better if you are logged into JustAnswer (more icons and options) than if you are just responding by email.Hope this helps!Best wishes,Robert
Expert:  Robert S. replied 2 years ago.
Any luck with the photos?
You might want to try this, it may be a little easier for attaching photos.
Just three clicks and a copy and paste and you are done:
Go to
(no need to 'log in' or 'register' it makes it too complicated)
Click on "Upload Images"
Click on "Browse Your Computer"
Select the pictures you want to send me from the box that pops up.
Hit "open".
Click on "Start Upload" (and wait few seconds pictures to load)
And then copy the link they give you. It will look similar to this and it's located right under where it says Image Link
and paste it here where you are typing to me.
(If you have uploaded multiple photos on one link, copy the URL in the browser bar at the top of your screen, otherwise I get just one photo).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.,Yl1s8L1,gRWDkBL,Ph7cXxV
Here you go robert
Expert:  Robert S. replied 2 years ago.
Excellent photos, thanks so much!
This is a lovely example of late 19th century "Paris Porcelain" in the neo-classical taste. This type is often referred to as a 'portrait vase' although it's hard to tell in this case whether the portrait is hand painted or a color decal print (heightened by hand). My dollar is on the latter. The "bleu celeste" jeweling framing the portrait is beautifully done. Those raised paste dots are a hard decorative technique to pull off.
Paris Porcelain (or "Vieux Paris Porcelaine" if it's 18th century) is a generic term for the ornamental china produced by at least thirty manufacturers located within the city of Paris from the mid-1700's until circa 1880, or the end of the Second Empire. A generic term, because most of it is unmarked (like yours) or erratically marked, and almost impossible to attribute pieces to individual makers. Fortunately, collectors understand this and consider it as a single output without needing or wanting to know which individual porcelain works it came from.
They came into being to compete with or ride the coat tails of the Royal Manufactory at Sevres close by, despite an outright ban on porcelain making by King Louis XV and later heavy restrictions to minimize competition with his precious Sevres.
Sadly Paris Porcelain is not as appreciated by collectors as it was when your grandfather was a young auctioneer, and these would indeed have made a tidy sum. Antiques, like everything else, are subject to the whims of fashion and I am sure the pendulum will swing in their favor again in future. For now, however, in an good antique store this vase would be priced at about $600 (this is also the replacement/insurance value). Expect to get in the range of 30% - 40% of this if you sold at auction or on line.
If the second one matches this one, in other words if what you have is a pair, then the replacement/insurance value would be $1400 for the pair.
Hope this helps! Please let me know if you'd like further assistance with this, I would be glad to and thanks for your patience with the process of getting photos to me.
Best wishes,