Chicago Antiques Guide

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Pickard Vellum Charger signed Maley

Posted Saturday, September 17 by CAG

A writer, who did not want her name published, asked for more information and value on this hand painted plate, marked Pickard on the back and signed 'Haley' on the front.
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Pickard was the most famous of many Chicago Studios producing hand painted china in the early 1900's. Most of the companies bought their "blanks" from other porcelain factories such as Rosenthal, M&Z Austria and many of the Limoges factories. Pickard bought blanks as well, especially in the early years. It is the superb hand painting of Limoges blanks by Pickard and other studio decorators that accounts for much of Limoges porcelain's excellent reputation.

Your charger, or oversized plate, was painted by Eva Maley (not Haley) probably around 1910-12, based on the Pickard mark and her tenure there. It is called vellum, because of the soft colors and wispy detail, similar to the Rookwood Vellum line. Unlike Rookwood's Vellum which is eagerly sought and highly priced, Pickard's vellum line never caught on to the same degree. It is out of character with the most desireable Pickard pieces and is therefore modestly priced. Maley is also a lesser Pickard artist, some of whom have serious followings, which drive up their prices. Your piece would sell for about $100-$150 in today's market. Other Pickard pieces can go in the $350 to $1,000 range and even higher for very special items.

There were also many china painting clubs and amateur china painters as well that account for well over 90% of the hand painted china on the market. The quality of these amateur pieces varies greatly, but is generally well below the standard set by Pickard and others.

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