Antique Or Junque: Egg cup's everything it's cracked up to be
Dec 07,2007 00:00 by Anne McCollam

Q: I collect egg cups and would like to learn more about the one seen in this photo. It stands 4 inches tall and is decorated with a floral, embossed pattern and has green laurel leaves borders at the top and the bottom. Inside both ends of the cup are green transfer print scenes of castles. "Made in England - Wedgwood - Patrician - U.S.A. Patent Applied For" are the words marked in the smaller cup. I bought it at least 30 years ago and it is in pristine condition.

WEDGWOOD EGGCUP - This porcelain double eggcup was made by Wedgwood in England and would probably fetch from $50 to $65 in an antiques shop. CNS Photo. 
HAVILAND AND CO. MARK - Haviland and Co. used this mark from 1876 to 1930. The firm has made porcelain in Limoges, France, from 1864 to the present. CNS Illustration.
What can you tell me about my egg cup?

A: You have a porcelain double egg cup that was made by Wedgwood in England. It gave the person dining the option of using the larger cup for shelled soft-boiled eggs, or using the smaller portion for an egg left in its shell. Patrician is the name of the shape with the embossed flowers and leaves. Wedgwood used at least eight different designs to decorate the Patrician line. Argyle, Morning Glory, Windermere, Swansea and Bognor are a few. Most of the designs are transfer prints that include some hand-painting. The green pattern on your egg cup is "Torbay." Torbay is a bay and natural harbor in the southwest region of England. Because of the temperate climate and the natural beauty of the area, it has become known as the English Riviera.

The Patrician line was in production from 1936 to 1982.

Your porcelain egg cup would probably fetch $50 to $65 in an antiques shop.

Q: I have enclosed the mark on my great-grandmother's porcelain hot chocolate set. She received it around 1900 and it is in excellent condition. The set consists of a chocolate pot, six cups and six saucers. Each piece is decorated with small, pastel flowers.

What can you tell me about its maker, vintage, and value?

A: Haviland and Co. used this mark from 1876 to 1930. They have made porcelain in Limoges, France, from 1864 to the present. Hot chocolate sets were popular gifts to young women in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They were often given for weddings and graduations. It's unusual for a set to make it to the 21st century totally intact.

The value of your set would probably be $650 to $750.

Q: I have a sterling silver spoon that belonged to my grandmother. It is engraved with the name of my great-aunt and the date 1813. According to my mother, it was given to my grandmother as a memento of my great-aunt's high school graduation. It is a little smaller than most teaspoons and is marked "Sterling" on the back.

Does it have any value other than sentimental?

A: Sterling silver, as well as silver plated, spoons were presented to guests as remembrances on special occasions and events in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Similar sterling silver spoons are usually in the range of $35 to $45.

Q: I bought an antique porcelain cup and matching saucer at an estate auction this summer. It was an impulse buy because I liked them and I paid $25. Both pieces are in perfect condition and they are decorated with flowers and birds and embellished with gold. They are both marked "Germany" on the bottom. After the auction, the owner came over and told me the cup was a mustache cup and had been in her family since the late 1800s.

Why is it called a mustache cup and did I pay too much?

A: Mustache cups and saucers were made in abundance in Europe in the late 19th century. Mustaches were very fashionable in the Victorian era and the cups had a lip guard at the rim to keep the drinkers' mustaches dry and tidy.

Your mustache cup and saucer set would probably be valued at $25 to $75.

Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P.O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters.

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