Kyle on Antiques: Frog gives no clues about pottery

Q Can you give me any information about this red terra cotta pot? It is 9 inches high and has frogs as handles on the sides. I don’t know if it is an old piece or not. It is the only one I have ever seen.
– I.S., Madison, Wis.

A Your red ware pottery bowl/vase features an applied frog on the side. There is no other design to indicate where and when this piece was produced. I think a Southwestern Indian tribe might have made it sometime in the past century but that’s only a guess. Red ware pottery has also been widely produced in Mexico for the tourist trade so that’s another possible source. Without any other background I’d value this piece in the $30-$60 range.

Q I would like to know the value of this 13-inch charger with the word Qammana on the front. It is hand painted by Ltrilli Ltvbbio (at least that’s what it looks like). It is made of a pottery-type material. Can you find any information about it?
– W.W., Nashville, Tenn.

A This colorful faience charger, made for hanging, was most likely made in Italy sometime during the past century. I think the banner may read “Mammana.” If you look closely, I believe the picture shows a woman going through childbirth, not a common theme for most such pieces. The signature on the back also appears to be an Italian name, perhaps the artist. Because of the design on this piece I don’t think the demand would be very strong today. However, it’s quite a unique piece and the right person might enjoy it. I can only guess it might retail in the $75-$200 range.

Q This set of marionettes made in West Germany by Berling and Spielzeug. They are made of wood with straw hair and stand 14 inches tall. I would like to find their value.
– B.H., Boston, Mass.

A The marking on your marionettes indicates that they were produced in Germany after World War II, perhaps in the 1950s or 1960s. There are some collectors of marionettes but it’s not a large market. I’d think each of your pieces might sell for $25-$50.