Q: Enclosed are several pictures of a silver tea caddy including one of the bottom showing the hallmark. I would appreciate your evaluation.
A: This is a silver-plated cigar box made by the Derby Silver Plate Co., of Derby, Conn., during the late 1800s. The "hallmark" SPWM means silver plated white metal. It would probably sell in the $165 to $185 range in good condition.
Q: The attached mark is on the bottom of a cylindrical vase with a bulbous top. It is 8 inches tall and 4 1/2 inches in diameter. The scene on it depicts an old-fashioned sailing ship against a tan and light blue background. I would like to know the identity of the maker, its value and vintage.
A: Your vase was made by the Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1920. The RP monogram was used in 1886 and a flame was added each year until 1900. From 1901 on the Roman numeral (XX) indicated the year of manufacture. Your vase would sell for over $1,000.
The Wedgwood company is so often associated with blue and white jasper ware that some people mistakenly believe that is all that Wedgwood made. On the contrary, they made everything (( from calendar tiles to dinner sets for royalty.
In addition to blue and white jasper ware, they made green, violet and red combined with white. Other products included were several luster wares -- Fairyland, Moonlight and Dragon. We can add Creamware and Basalt and still not mention all forms of ceramics made by Wedgwood.
There were other companies whose marks tend to deceive. The one that confuses most frequently is "Wedgwood & Co.," a name used by Podmore, Walker & Co., in Tunstall, England. In 1965 they changed the name to "Enoch Wedgwood." Other misleading marks are "Wedg Wood", and "Wedgwood Ware."
Genuine Wedgwood is simply marked "Wedgwood" (with one "e") or "Wedgwood & Bentley" on very early pieces.
The largest, most comprehensive collection of Wedgwood can be found at the Buten Museum in Merion, Penn., just outside Philadelphia.
Prices for Wedgwood china can range from $15 for an ironstone plate to over to over $5,000 for a basalt urn. Basalt is a matte-finish black ironstone.