Wednesday, February 24, 2010
VILERT ENAMEL VASE
Q: I inherited a number of antiques from my grandparents in 1976, including this little metal and enamel vase, which is about 5 1/8 inches tall. It has suffered some under my stewardship. Enamel has chipped off the base and the mouth of the vase is chipped. The signature has always baffled me. It looks like Vibprt, but the top of the b is smeared, as is the last letter. I hope you can solve the mystery of the name of the artist and tell me if it is valuable.
A: The signature on your vase is probably Vilert, the artist who decorated it. It was made in Limoges, France. Limoges enamels have been made for centuries. Your vase is a type made in the late 1800s when romantic scenes of landscapes and people representing an earlier time were popular. Do not confuse the enamels with the famous porcelain dishes made in the same city of Limoges, France. Vases similar to yours, but in good condition, usually sell for around $500. The chips on your vase lower the value by as much as 50%.