Q I’ve admired this 10-inch by 24-inch print since I was a child. It was lost in my mother’s things until it recently reappeared. It was copyright in 1909 by Edward Gross, New York. It is titled “Bill” by Pearle Eugenia. Do you know anything about it? J.P. – Metamora, Ind.
A Your color print of the pretty early 20th century lady is typical of that era. There were a number of American artists who specialized in such portraits of lovely ladies; however, I’m not familiar with the artist of this piece. Unfortunately there is a major stain right across the face of this lady and that pretty much destroys any collector value. I suspect it would be very difficult to restore it.
Q I love your column. I hope you can help me date and identify this piece of Meissen that I purchased at auction a couple weeks ago. The piece was catalogued Meissen, but have no numbers or other markings on the bottom. – C.J., Edwardsville, Ill.
A Your figural group featuring a Scottish huntsman blowing his horn is a bit of a mystery to me. Even though it carries a blue “crossed swords” mark typical of Meissen German pieces, the overall quality just does not seem to match 19th century Meissen figurines I have seen. The theme of the hunter and the large tree trunk vase is much more typical of English Staffordshire china figure groups. These were produced is dozens and dozens of designs between about 1840 and 1890. The famous pairs of seated “Spaniels” are probably the best-known examples. The thickness of the clay body and modeling just don’t say “Meissen” to me. In my research I have found some Staffordshire groups quite similar to this that dated from the 1890s. Since the Meissen “crossed swords” mark was copied by other German factories and is still in use I’m not sure this piece carries a true Meissen mark. It might have been applied at a later date, too. You don’t give the size of this piece but most Staffordshire groups are about 5 to 9 inches tall, but the similar example I saw is 12 inches tall. In top condition a Staffordshire figure group of this quality could be valued in the $500-$1,000 range.