Rare Majolica Finds a New Home


When the owner of a blue and brown ceramic compote submitted pictures of the piece to Lofty earlier this year, she had a hunch she had something special on her hands but wasn’t certain of the value. She came to own the piece through her late aunt, who acquired it while she was working as an antique dealer in Oregon in the 1950s, and when the aunt passed away in the early 1990s, the current owner and her mother were charged with the daunting task of cleaning out the estate. Filled with objects from over 70 years of dealing and collecting, most of the pieces ended up in storage after the estate was settled. As a lover of art herself, the current owner recently began to feel guilty that these pieces were hiding behind closed doors and decided that it was time to sell some of them.

The owner’s mother had always said that the compote was important, so the owner chose it as the first item to submit to Lofty and was thrilled to learn that it was a rare piece of English majolica produced by the renowned maker George Jones as part of his “America” series. Featuring two American bison encircling a tree trunk supporting a cobalt blue bowl, it’s fitting that the work ended up in the rural Midwest, the stomping grounds of its subject. She listed the piece for sale right away, and it recently found the right buyer for $14,000.

The owner had considered selling the piece on eBay prior to finding Lofty, but felt that the site as “destroyed the charm of antiquing”. When she discovered Lofty, she said the free evaluation coupled with a selling option “answered all my prayers, and I’ve been praying, trust me.” With her mother now in a nursing home, the sale of the compote not only allowed the owner to send the compote to a new home where it could see the light of day, but also provided some welcome financial relief in an economically stressful time.