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Antiques Considered - May 6, 2009

Several years ago a Northern Neck family purchased this sugar shaker at an estate sale for $2.  The bottom is marked "Hand-painted Nippon", and it is in excellent condition, with no damage to the gold leaf embossing or to the painted blue flowers.  The cork is missing from the bottom.
This piece dates form the turn of the nineteenth century. It is particularly high-quality Nippon, which is the name used for Japanese porcelain of that era.  The colors are quite good, and the overall design is well executed.
Originally, this shaker would have been part of a larger breakfast set, probably including a teapot, coffeepot, creamer, sugar bowl, and fruit bowl.  In other words, it has lost its family.  The missing cork does not affect its value, and a new one should be easily obtainable.
The $2. price was a bargain, as good Nippon sells today for big dollars.  This item is worth $30., and possibly much more to anyone with other pieces which would match it.  I suggest looking on the Internet to see if any similar pieces are available.  Putting together a set might be difficult, but this piece is an excellent start if one is interested.
Japanese porcelain marked "Nippon" is the ancestor of Noritake and other modern makers' products.  It has risen spectacularly in value over the last 30 years, with collectors' clubs having been formed with newsletters and websites.  I know several collectors here in the Northern Neck, who always are eager to learn about new finds coming on the market.
 Whether used or not, the piece never should be put in a dishwasher, lest the brilliant color gold and blue be lost or damaged. This piece is fine for use today, filled with powdered sugar, ready to be sprinkled on homemade pancakes.  What could be better for breakfast?
• Lisa  and Henry Lane Hull operate Commonwealth Antiques and Appraisals, Inc. at 5150 Jessie DuPont  Hwy. (P.O.Box 35) Wicomico Church, Virginia 22579, a firm which he founded in 1973.  
The appraisal service began in 1976.  Write to him there, or by e-mail at comantqu @ crosslink.net, with pictures and descriptions of items you wish to have him treat in "Antiques Considered."  Please include a stamped, addressed envelope if you wish a personal acknowledgement.
 

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