Q My crock is about 12 inches across and 14? inches high. The inside is a deep brown shade. I bought it at an auction, and it’s in perfect condition.
A This six-gallon stoneware crock appears to carry the early hand-painted “birch leaf” mark used by the Red Wing Stoneware Company of Red Wing, Minn., (1877-1894). This firm went through a number of name changes and used various trademarks well into the 20th century. Early examples are very much in demand among Red Wing collectors. If your crock doesn’t have any serious chips or cracks I believe it could be valued today in the $250-$500 range but might bring more from the right collector.
Q Please give me some information concerning my vase. It is 13 inches by 9 inches in size, and is in mint condition. I’ve traced the markings, hoping that would be of help.
– D.R., O’Neill, Neb.
A The Royal Bonn factory in Germany produced a fine range of ceramic vases in the late 19th and early 20th century. Some of their pieces were completely hand-painted while others were decorated with colorful transfers. From your photo I can’t tell if the roses on your vase are hand-painted or not. Look at the design with a good jeweler’s loupe and if you see hundreds of little dots forming the flowers you’ll know it’s a printed design. With a loupe you should be able to detect fine brush strokes if the piece is hand-painted. A tall Royal Bonn vase like this, if hand-painted, might retail in the $400-$600 range. However, if it is decorated with a color transfer the value would be only about half that amount.
By the way, the “1755” date in the shield mark refers to the date the original factory was started and has nothing to do with when most of their wares were manufactured.
Q My pewter jug has a glass bottom and around the glass it says “Made in England. Leonard Eales of Sheffield since 1779.” Also, there is engraving on the front that says “Best Wishes and Good Luck.” Maybe it was a retirement gift? Any information you can give me would be appreciated.
– M.B.D., Baltimore, Md.
A Your glass-bottomed English pewter mug or tankard is not antique. The “Made in England” mark indicates that it was produced no earlier than the 1920s or 1930s but I suspect it is most likely a postwar souvenir item. The value would be fairly modest, perhaps in the $20-$40 range.
Q Would it be possible to find out anything about these pictures? I paid $65 for the piano lady several years ago. I cannot remember how much I paid for the picture of Chicago.
A.P., Anderson, Ind.
A Since you don’t provide much information on the picture of the lady in red playing the piano I can’t really tell if it’s a print or perhaps an original painting. The value would be much greater if it’s an original work by a listed artist. As a print in good condition I suspect the value might be in the $100-$200 range, depending on size and condition. An original painting would probably sell for several times that amount.
The panoramic view of the Chicago skyline is an interesting piece but without more information I can’t tell if it’s an original drawing, a limited production engraving or a mass-produced print. I’m guessing from some of the buildings shown that it was done around the 1960s. It would likely be in demand in the Chicago market but guessing a value isn’t possible.