Ask Antique Trader: Readers have valuable vases and a Weller Pottery parrot

Q I have had these three pieces for 40 years, could you give me information on them? – D.E., Castroville, Calif.

A Royal Bonn vases: Styled after Grecian urns this pair commands our attention and gives double the pleasure. The hand-painted yellow Dahlias on your 21-inch-tall vases show similarity but not exactness, the exquisite florals are painted from the opposite direction. The Royal Bonn trade-name was used by Franz Anton Mehlem who founded a factory in Bonne, Germany, in 1836. They produced earthenware and porcelain, and later sold to Villeroy & Boch in 1921. This set would date after 1890 when the word ‘Royal’ was added to their factory mark. The value of this slender pair with oviform shape, gilt trim and open-work loop handles is $595.

Weller vase: In 1872 Samuel A. Weller started making utilitarian stoneware from his log cabin in Fultonham, Ohio. Within ten years he relocated to take advantage of the rich clay deposits around Zanesville, and this catapulted the company to success. Starting the production of ‘art pottery lines,’ he stressed individuality by hiring talented art directors that kept Weller Pottery on the cutting edge. With over 500 employees and perpetually designing new patterns and lines, the company out-lasted many others and stayed open through 1948. Weller was credited in large part for the title of ‘Clay City USA’ being given to Zanesville. Your beautiful vase is the Louwelsa pattern that was named after Weller’s new-born daughter. Such a large example creates drama with its 26-inch height and 13-inch diameter. This artist signed vase by H. Pillsbury would need to be personally inspected to confirm a value of $3,000.

Q I purchased this Weller bird at an antique auction 45 years ago; it doesn’t have any damage. Any information would be appreciated. – P.P. Hannick, Santa Maria, Calif.

A Samuel A. Weller created hundreds of pottery lines. Your life-size parrot was created for the Hudson category. The Hudson line elevated sales to an ailing company and today it is of great interest to collectors. This line originated in plant #1 with Edwin L. Pickens as the supervisor. There was a matching second parrot, it was made with ‘lowered-wings.’ Your bird is decorated under a semi-matte glaze using strong-shaded pastel colors of nude-yellow (buff)-to-blue. The in-mold script trademark (Weller Pottery) was used through 1933. Fairly rare, in the right marketplace your parrot could generate at least $1,000.


Contact Antique Trader: Send your questions and photos via e-mail (preferred) to, or mail to Ask Antique Trader, 700 East State St., Iola, WI 54945. Click here for more details and image requirements.


weller potteryWarman’s Weller Pottery Identification and Price Guide by Denise Rago and David Rago explores the history of Weller pottery. It allows you to research identifying details with more than 1,000 color photos and current pricing, and you can learn tips for caring for pottery. $24.99. To order, visit or call 800-258-0929.