Collectibles like majolica punch bowls are whimsical and valuable. Plus they display well.
Online auction catalogs draw me as a chance to discover something new — like majolica punch bowls. Early in October, I came upon a highly decorative and amusing antique English figurative punch bowl, created by majolica master George Jones. The bowl was rendered in orange, with a recumbent figure of Punch — the puppet character from 19th century Punch and Toby (the dog) fame. An example of slightly cheesy English Victorian humor and hyper decoration, the punch bowl is a stunningly detailed and colored piece piece. The orange bowl fetched $1500.
Two weeks later, the same punch bowl, from the same factory of the mid-19th century majolica master, appeared in cobalt blue at a second sale, also in Pennsylvania. That one fetched $7500. The same piece in two different colors sold in the same state during the same month but the prices were $6000 apart. While color or condition might provide explanations, it seemed like an amazing differential. As a wanna-be majolica collector, I’m always hoping to find an old piece for, say, $150 (dream on girl). So I keep looking and try to track costs and learn which pieces are most desirable even when I can’t put the information to any practical use. I blame my collecting gene.
(Source: Freeman’s Auctions, Alderfer Auction)
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