WorthPoint member Andrea S. picked up this jardinière (a ceramic pot or urn) in a thrift store for $65. She believes that if she could decipher the maker’s mark, she’ll get a better idea about its value.
Andrea S. picked up this jardinière (a ceramic pot or urn) in a thrift store for $65. Other than the price tag on it there was no other information offered, but the cashier said it was “antique” and left it at that. But the piece is marked and Andrea thinks if she can find out about the make,r it will help determine when it was made and possibly some history about it. She contacted us via WorthPoint’s “Ask a Worthologist” service to inquire about this piece and her inquiry was forwarded to me, here’s her question.
“We have a Goodwill shop about a mile from my place and I pop in about once a week on Saturdays to see if there are any decorative items I can use or resell. I don’t normally bother with pottery from there because most of it appears to stuff from florist shops and dollar stores. They have a special cabinet at our local store where they keep what they consider the “good stuff,” you have to ask them to open the cabinet to have a close look at whatever you want to buy. Unlike the usual junk they have in the store, this piece looked different. They had it listed for $65, so I had to have a look at it. The cashier didn’t know anything about it other than she was told it was “old.” Here an image of the piece and the marking on it. I’m not too concerned about the piece’s value; I think I got a good deal. What I would like to know about this jardinière is its age and about the company that made it.”
Here’s my response:
According to our extensive Marks & Digital Library data base, which contains 40,000 marks and 150 reference books on antiques & collectibles, the mark on this piece indicated it was made by Bretby Art Pottery, also known as “Tooth & Co. Ltd.” The company was formed in 1883 by Henry Tooth and William Ault, who left four years later to set up his own pottery at Swadlincote. Bretby made both inexpensive pressed wares and a more expensive line of handmade art pottery. Bretby remained under the Tooth family until 1933, and after the Second World War it became known as Tooth and Company Limited Bretby Art Pottery. The company operated until the 1996.
The mark on this piece indicated it was made by Bretby Art Pottery, also known as “Tooth & Co. Ltd.”
Bretby products often bear the impressed sunburst motif and the word “BRETBY.” From 1891 the word “ENGLAND” is added and after 1900 “MADE IN ENGLAND.” Henry Tooth’s monogram was in use up to about 1900. Based on what we can see in the images your jardinière dates from the late 19th century. You did get a good deal, as a comparable example, even at auction, would sell for over $100.
Mike Wilcox, of Wilcox & Hall Appraisers, is a Worthologist who specializes in Art Nouveau and the Arts and Craft movement.
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