Happy Fishing - Thanks to www.wisconsinpottery.org
It is early summer and that always makes me thing of going fishing. In fact, my brother Roger is coming to Chicago Thursday to pick me up for a short trip to Minnesota to see if the fish are biting up there. When I think of fishing, scenes of cattails, fish jumping and frogs croaking come to mind. This is what I must have had in common with one of the designers at Weller Pottery. This designer created the line called “Coppertone” and it is one of the favorites with collectors of all the Weller patterns. Most of these pieces are marked with the Weller half-kiln ink mark.
I was attending an auction in southern Indiana many years ago and happened across this unusual piece of pottery bearing the resemblance of a frog sitting on a lily pad. This piece caught my eye and, even though I wanted to leave the auction early, I stayed just to bid on that one piece. This was a farm auction and most people weren’t there to buy pottery so I was very proud of myself when I purchased it for under $100. Later I found out it was called a Fountain Figure and when I sold it at auction it brought over $600. That sure made that cute little frog a prince in my eyes.
So that I won’t only tell you my success stories like the one above, I will share this one with you. I was in Florida visiting my wife’s parents and decided to visit the local flea market one day when nothing else was on our calendar. After visiting most of the booths I came upon this dealer that really had some rare and unusual items. I tried to negotiate on several of them and I have to admit that I was quite successful. However, before leaving his booth I saw two water sprinklers, one was a duck and the other was a frog, I asked their price and he said $3000 for the pair. I knew they were good but not how good and I wasn’t following one of my own rules. I didn’t have a price guide with me. He told me if I didn’t purchase them he was going to consign the pieces to auction. That seemed like a lot of money at the time so I started to walk off and the dealer said “What would you pay?” I hate to think about it today because I feel sure the purchase could have been made for $2500 or less. Returning to Chicago several months later and receiving my Treadway Auction catalog, there were the two pieces that I had passed on. I believe they brought over $8000. Today I have to just say that just like in fishing “that one got away”.
If you will open your Kovel price guide the prices listed there will open your eyes. Here are just a few: turtle candlestick $960, console perched