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Antiques Considered - December, 30, 2009

 

A writer from the lower Northern Neck inherited the celery vase that is third from the right from his mother.  Later he found other examples and now has a collection of fifteen pieces, which he displays in an antique cabinet.  He paid very little for any one, and thinks his mother paid about $3 for the original one in the collection.

Read more: Antiques Considered - December, 30, 2009

Antiques Considered - December 16, 2009

This week we have some interesting sterling silver pieces from a family in the lower Northern Neck.  The owner apologizes that they need polishing, and asks about the markings.  The tumblers read "Sterling 950", and the water pitcher simply states "Sterling."  The tumblers are six inches high, and the pitcher 7 & ½ inches.
    All of these pieces are mid-twentieth century.  The water pitcher is American and the tumblers are Japanese.  Whenever one sees the "950" in the hallmark, the piece is Japanese.  In this case the tumblers probably come from the early post-war period, and were made for the American market.  The inscription being in English makes that point very clearly.

Read more: Antiques Considered - December 16, 2009

Antiques Considered - December 9, 2009

 This Japanese Imari ginger jar was a recent purchase at a yard sale. The lid is missing, but otherwise it is in perfect condition. The buyer would like to know the age of the jar, and whether making it into a lamp would harm its value, particularly if the bottom were drilled for the electric cord. It is 7 inches high.
Imari is perhaps the most popular form of Japanese ceramics. The name comes from the city where a number of factories made porcelain in the 19th century. The signature colors are cobalt blue, a turquoise blue and a brick red. This jar has all three, and the shape is especially attractive.
Drilling the base is a questionable matter. I doubt a lid which would match in color and shape could be found, yet I also caution against drilling, suggesting instead bringing the cord off the lamp mechanism at the top. In other words, I would try to keep the jar in its present condition, in the rare event a lid did materialize. Most lamp shops sell wooden lids that blend with the porcelain quite well.

Read more: Antiques Considered - December 9, 2009

Antiques Considered - December 2, 2009

A writer from Northumberland County asks about her Staffordshire gravy boat, which is a family heirloom.  It is blue on white, and both stenciled and labeled by the maker, Brown, Westhead, Moore & Co. with a shield and crown, along with the pattern designation, "Meissen."  It is in perfect condition, and is one piece, that is, the dish and platter were fired together.
This piece is a fine example of mid-nineteenth-century Staffordshire production.
As most readers know, Staffordshire is a county in England that was found to have extensive clay deposits, which were suitable for being the molds into which Plaster of Paris could be poured and fired in kilns.  The resulting products became the staples for British and foreign middle class tableware.

Read more: Antiques Considered - December 2, 2009

Antiques Considered November 25, 2009

A couple in the Northern Neck inherited this library table a few years ago.  It is mahogany with yellow pine secondary wood.  Even the drawer bottoms are solid pine, and not plywood.  It bears a label in one of the drawers stating that it was made an authentic handmade reproduction by A. Sacks in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Another label on the back of the same drawer indicates it was sold by Woodward and Lothrop, the former prestigious department store in Washington, D. C.  Several other pieces of furniture in the home have the same labels.

Read more: Antiques Considered November 25, 2009

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