Pricing Wedgwood jasper
While Wedgwood guides published on this website are based on prices realized at recent auctions and there is plenty of photos
and other information included, one thing a price guide can never do is explain why exactly some pieces are worth more than
others. What makes a particular item command a higher price in today’s market?
This article will provide some guidance on the matter by going thru various parameters that effect the price.
One of the main factors is the color. The most rare and valuable one is Crimson which is a scarlet/burgundy color. Crimson dip
jasper was briefly introduced at the end of 19th century and then again circa 1910. Most of the
examples though were produced during 1920s, and then it was discontinued due to color bleeding.
Shown on the left is a pitcher from 1920s which can easily bring at least $1,000 at any auction, even
though its shape and white relief decoration are very common. The same pitcher in blue color would
not even fetch $150.
In recent years, Wedgwood has made another attempt to reproduce scarlet/burgundy color. This so-called
“wine” jasper can be easily identified by the fact that it’s a solid jasper (both interior and exterior are of the same color). The
original Crimson always has a white interior as it’s dipped.
Almost as valuable as Crimson, is Tri-Color jasperware. Shown on the right is a bulbous jug of
solid white ground with applied lilac and green relief. Once again, the shape and decoration
design are very common. Yet just because it is Tri-Color, this jug is worth over $1,000 while the
value of a similar blue jasper piece is only about $150.
Other rare colors are Lilac and Yellow. They’re highly collectible and the prices are close to
those being paid for Crimson.
Blue, with all its various shades, is the most common color of Wedgwood jasperware. While large elaborate one-of-a-kind pieces
are expensive regardless of their color, for more common pieces such as the pitchers shown above, the color is the main factor
defining their price.
Other common colors (not as common as Blue though) are Green and Black. Black jasperware is very collectible and there is
some premium there. For some reason, there are not as many collectors looking for Green, perhaps because it does not display
as well. Thus Green is sometimes cheaper than Blue.
Some may argue that the general rule of Antiques – the older, the better – does not always apply to Wedgwood, as many Crimson
and Tri-Color pieces made in 20th century are worth much more today than some 19th and even 18th century blue jasper. In my
opinion though, it’s not a very fare comparison. Instead, one should compare identical pieces of the same shape, decoration, size,
condition AND same color, but various age. The older piece will always be worth more.
How to tell the age? Older pieces are marked Wedgwood only. Starting 1891, word ENGLAND had to be added to satisfy export
laws. From 1908 on, it was changed to MADE IN ENGLAND. Simple? Not exactly. Some jasperware made today, in the early 21st
century, is actually being produced outside of England. Thus, it does not have to be marked MADE IN ENGLAND. Besides,
advanced restoration techniques allow for practically traceless removal of word ENGLAND or any other markings. While nobody
would go thru such trouble for small inexpensive pieces, large elaborate potentially expensive ones is a whole different story.
They are often of a very high quality too, and one must be really careful, especially when shopping on eBay.
This factor gets often overlooked, especially by beginner collectors. Some of the nicer and more popular jasperware pieces,
such as pitchers, biscuit jars and tea ware, are also the most common ones. They were reproduced in high quantities over
many years. As a result, a relatively large number of them has survived unharmed until present day. They come up for sale all of
the time, and practically every collector has them already. So the prices on them are relatively low.
Other pieces might not be as pretty, but if they are rare, they are worth considerably more. It could be a rare shape, relief or
color. Anything out of ordinary commands a premium.
When it comes to vases, plaques and other decorative objects, it sure does. The bigger is always the better, more impressive and
therefore more expensive. Many shapes have been produced by Wedgwood in more than one size. A larger version will always be
more valuable than a smaller one.
Of course, there are some exceptions. Size does not matter at all when it comes to medallions, for example. And some cute little
pieces such as matchboxes are highly collectible as well.
Needless to say that a major damage significantly decreases the value. As far as minor chips and repairs, it all depends on how
rare the piece is. If it’s a common piece such as a blue jasperware pitcher or teapot, for example, a rim chip can make it practically
worthless because there are too many perfect examples out there. On the other hand, if the piece is very rare, a minor damage will
hardly affect its value at all.