Appraisal: Picasso Madoura Pottery, ca. 1954
Take a look at Stuart Slavid's appraisal of Picasso Madoura Pottery, ca. 1954, in Vintage Tucson, Hour 1.
GUEST: Well, I brought two pieces-- a Picasso, because I love Picasso. As a student of art,
I've always admired his work. My husband and I were in the diplomatic corps. We lived in
Italy. We had reason to travel, and I said, "Can we go to France? I want to go to Vallauris,
where Picasso lives. I heard there's a little store there that sells ceramics." It took
us hours to get into the store, because the town was closed for four hours. They didn't
have anything but Picasso plates. And I said, "Oh, no, I want the vases." So first she brought
out this white one, and which I like very much, but I said, "Where is the vase with
Jacqueline's profile, his wife, Jacqueline?" She says, "Oh, we don't have them anymore."
And I guess tears must have come to my eyes, because I really wanted that one so badly.
And she came out with this vase and she said, "I had this in the store room, but we didn't
sell it because it's not perfect on the handle." I said, "I'll take it, anyway, I love it!"
APPRAISER: So now what year was that?
GUEST: This was 1967.
APPRAISER: Picasso wintered in Vallauris and he developed this relationship with the Madoura
pottery, and they allowed him to experiment with designs. They used their expertise, as
well, to come up with some of these unusual techniques. And the most salable examples
are the examples that have people or animals on them. And guess what?
APPRAISER: Both of the pieces you brought in have these wonderful faces, in this particular
jug. The beautiful animal under the spout.
GUEST: I love, I love it. Look at her eyes.
APPRAISER: And this one here has these wonderful character faces on it. And really, it has
a tremendous amount of humor. Now, he obviously didn't manufacture all of these, he designed
GUEST: No-- yes.
APPRAISER: And they were made in, in limited editions, and up until about ten years ago,
they weren't bringing a lot of money.
APPRAISER: And in the last ten years, there's actually been a frenzy, and they've been very,
very desirable. He didn't start manufacturing designs for these until he was about 65. So
it's interesting, the latter part of his life, that he would find this new ware that was
initially looked at very commercially, and...
GUEST: I know, because she told me that the Parisian women were making lamps out of this
APPRAISER: Right, and they were very inexpensive, but certainly, he was taking advantage of
APPRAISER: Now, she said that the handle was a little bit off.
GUEST: Yeah, it's a little bit off.
APPRAISER: And because of that, the glaze was a little bit rough on this piece.
APPRAISER: And this piece today, how much would it bring?
GUEST: I have no idea.
APPRAISER: How about at auction, roughly $8,000 to $12,000?
GUEST: Oh, my God, that is really amazing.
APPRAISER: And this vase, about $10,000 to $15,000.
GUEST: Oh, my God! (laughs) I would-- but I'd never sell them, ever.
APPRAISER: Now, what did you pay for these?
GUEST: I paid about $125 in American money. And then it was about $175 to $200. My husband
kept saying, "Are you sure you want that?" (laughs) I said, "Yes, I do."