Toilet set: $265 to $285


Q: I have a washbowl and matching pitcher in what looks like the blue willow pattern, but it is marked "Buffalo Pottery," with a picture of a buffalo. Please tell me what you can about this set.

A: John Larkin and Elbert Hubbard founded this pottery in 1901. Blue Willow ware was one of the patterns made about 1910. By 1920, the company was producing nothing but hotel china.

A toilet set such as you describe would probably sell for $265 to $285 in good condition.

Q: Will you please tell me if you think I got a good deal on a coverlet that was described as "single weave, two-piece Jacquard"? It is red, blue and green, measures 96 by 96 inches and is signed "Made by James Pearson, Medina, Ohio, 1837." I paid $400 for it.

A: You got a good deal; it is probably worth at least $500. Some coverlets similar to yours have sold for $1,000.

Q: Please provide any information you can about my Virginia Dare wine tray. It is made of tin and features a picture of a bottle of wine with a label stating that the company was established in 1835. The artwork on the tray is signed "A. Woelfe."

A: Your tray was made in the 1920s while the 18th Amendment was in force prohibiting alcoholic beverages.

The company was founded in 1900 by Paul Garrett; perhaps 1835 was his father's birth date.

A dealer would get at least $350 for a tray like this in good condition.

Q: Please tell me what you can about a 9-inch-diameter plate with a picture of a deer with elaborate horns. It is marked "M.Z. & Co." on the back.

A: Your game plate was made by Moritz Zdekauer & Co. in Alt Rohlau, Germany (now part of Czechoslovakia), about 1900. A dealer probably would price this at $65 to $75.

Q: Please evaluate my 1911 calendar plate. It has a picture of a four-masted sailing ship with the months of the year on the sails. It is marked on the back "Semi-porcelain, E.P.P. Co."

A: This 1911 calendar plate was made by the East Palestine Pottery Co. in East Palestine, Ohio. It probably would sell for $35 to $45 in an antique shop.

Q: I would appreciate your opinion of a porcelain vase. The mark on the bottom is an artist's palette with fancy scrollwork in a circle.

A: This mark was used by the Ceramic Art Co. in Trenton, N.J., from 1894 to 1906 on American Belleek porcelain. Your vase probably would sell for $500 to $600.

Q: Now that the movie "Dick Tracy" is out, I wonder if my Big Little Book, "Dick Tracy & the Racketeer Gang," is a valuable collectible. It was published in the 1930s.

A: All the sales records and price lists available now are based on sales made before the movie was made. Your book has been selling for about $20 in good condition. It probably would sell now for $25 to $35.

Q: We have a stoneware pitcher about 9 inches tall. It has a picture of an Indian on the side and the head of an Indian on the handle. It is marked "Western Stoneware Co." Is this old enough to be collectible? How much is it worth?

A: Western Stoneware had factories in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. Your pitcher probably was made in Monmouth, Ill. The pattern is called "Old Sleepy Eye" and is extremely popular with collectors. It was made in the early 1900s and probably would sell for $265 to $285.

Q: I have a sterling silver baby spoon with a curved handle. It is marked Watrous Mfg. Co. Can you tell me when it was made and its value?

A: The Watrous company was founded in 1896 and was taken over by International Silver in 1898. Your baby spoon is worth about $35 to $45.

Q: A chest of drawers purchased by my grandmother for $2 at a yard sale over 50 years ago is all solid black walnut -- no veneer and beautifully hand carved. I think it is from the 1800s. Can you tell me anything about its value?

A: This is a late Victorian chest made in the fourth quarter of the 19th century. A dealer would price it at $400 to $500 in good condition.

Send your questions about antiques with pic- ture(s), a detailed description, a stamped, self-addressed envelope and $1 per item to James G. McCollam, P.O. Box 1087, Notre Dame, Ind. 46556. All questions will be answered; published pictures cannot be returned. Mr. McCollam is a member of the Antique Appraisers Association of America.

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