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Antiques Considered - August 14, 2013

These four English copper lustre pitchers are part of a large collection belonging to a lady in the lower Northern Neck.  She has some that are as early as the 1840s and others as late as the 1960s.  Several are broken, and others are in restored condition.  These are a representative sample.

 All lustreware is down at the present time.  Copper lustre is selling for far less today than a generation ago.  These are nice pieces, but the three on the left are similar to many others that are readily available.

The one on the far left dates from the 1840s, and has good form.  The blue banding adds to the jug’s interest, but even with it, the value is less than $50.  The next one with the figural banding is attractive, and also has good form.  It is worth $60.  The third one has pink lustre banding, which is more desirable than the blue one, and is worth $75.

 The last one depicts the image of William Henry Harrison, the ninth U. S. President, on one side, and a log cabin on the other.  It bears the title “Tippecanoe”, a reference to the battle he won prior to the1840 presidential election where his campaign slogan was “Tippecanoe and Tyler too.”  Unfortunately, this one, which is the rarest of the four, has a lima bean-size chunk missing from the rim.

 In perfect condition this one should command a price of $150., but with the damage, the value is significantly lower.  I recommend having the piece professionally restored.  As is, the value is $35, but restored it should triple.  Here in Virginia we have one of the finest porcelain and pottery restoration companies in America at McHugh’s Restorations on West Patterson Avenue in Richmond.  They are perfectionists, and should be capable of eliminating the distraction of the missing chunk.

As I have written often in this space, all of these lustreware pieces today,  although they are interesting collectibles, should never be used for food.  Almost certainly their glazing contains lead, thus they should be seen and not used.
Happy Antiquing!

Henry Lane Hull and his wife, Lisa, own Commonwealth Antiques & Appraisals, Inc. at P.O. Box 35, Wicomico Church, VA 22579. You may reach them at home at 804.580.3301 or by email at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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