David Rago appraises a 1905 Van Briggle vase for $1500-$2000.
Finding a piece of Van Briggle at a garage sale is like a game. You don’t always win, but when you do, its an amazing feeling. Pottery from more popular companies such as Roseville or Weller don’t offer the same kind of excitement that Van Briggle provides. Your eyes quickly sweep over tables or boxes and quickly pick up on that familiar glaze. You turn the piece over and you see the tell-tale AA symbol and Van Briggle marks.
This past weekend, I stumbled across an amazing set of Van Briggle pottery – A white bowl and matching flower frog. Not surprisingly, the pieces were in different places. I quickly grabbed both and showed the seller how the two pieces went together. I won’t tell you the final price I paid – it will just make you jealous. The seller had no idea what Van Briggle was.
The VI at the top indicated this Van Briggle piece was either glazed by Rosemary Dobbs between 1988 to 1995 or by Gean Holland between 1994 to 2002. There isn’t much information to be found for the RY – resources say it to be a finisher around 1968, but that doesn’t match the VI dating. The bottom of the actual flower frog piece merely has a simple AA marking. This piece may just turn out to be another mystery in terms of dating.
Nonetheless, the white flower frog and bowl duo makes for a great decorative item. The white is a nice change of color from the usual green hues seen so often. I will keep playing the odds of finding more unique Van Briggle pieces during garage saleing and estate saleing.
Story and photos submitted by Deborah.
Every second Sunday of the month, I make my early morning trip to the local Antique Faire here in Sacramento. This particular morning, my antique-hunting efforts were particularly fruitful. I started off looking for a few particular items, slowly meandering up and down aisles while I enjoyed my hot cup of coffee. I found one of the items I had on my list, a sterling napkin ring. I continued my browsing, when I happened upon a particularly chatty vendor. He had all sorts of weird and unique items of interest on his tables. It didn’t take me long to spot a flower frog with a dull-matte glaze. Instantly, I thought “Van Briggle!” I was familiar with the glaze and color, and the A-mark underneath the frog confirmed my thoughts.
The vendor saw me holding the frog and asked me if I knew it was Roseville pottery. I slyly said, “No, I didn’t know that.” I told him I would like it, and paid him $10. The flower frog had a beautiful checkered pattern on the top and was shaped like an upside-down sunflower with the Persian Rose glaze. This was one of the more unique flower frogs I would now own.
I continued to browse the aisles after my Van Briggle purchase, but I was hurried as I couldn’t wait to get home and add this piece to my collection.
I love collecting Van Briggle because of its colors and the matte-finish
I was in the small town of Martinez in California with my sister going from antique stores to thrift stores. We weren’t looking for anything in particular, being collectors of many things, but just for anything that caught our eyes. We found a small store filled to the brim with bric-a-brac and collectibles. It was one of those stores where as soon as you walked in, your eyes were quick in finding treasures which appealed to taste.
After browsing the aisles and finding several items I was interested in purchasing, I decided to give the glass cases up front a once-over. The cases held all kinds of miscellaneous smaller collectibles. I saw a small burgundy-colored flower frog that I had never seen before. I instantly thought it could be a Van Briggle pottery piece. I asked the shop owner if I could see and hold the frog. The price tag had “Van Briggle?” written on it and the price of $18. The owner told me she really liked Van Briggle pottery. She told me Van Briggle pottery was from Florida, but based on my readings on your website, VanBriggle.net, I knew it was actually made in Colorado. I also knew the glaze on this frog was called the Mulberry glaze. I was a bit skeptical of any further knowledge or information she offered on this piece. I checked the bottom and found the tell-tale “A in a square box” mark. I knew for sure this was an authentic piece.
I asked for the best price, and she sold me the Van Briggle flower frog for $15. I was very happy with the fair price offered.