Antique or Junque: 'Smart Set' creamer still pretty sharp
Feb 22,2008 00:00 by Anne_McCollam

Q: The little vase in this photo stands about 4 inches tall. It is decorated with gold, black and gray-brown geometric designs against a white background. "Redwing - U.S.A." is marked on the bottom and it is in mint condition. Also there are three raised dots on the bottom.

CREAM PITCHER - This cream pitcher was made by Red Wing Potteries in Red Wing, Minn., in the mid-1900s and would probably be worth $25 to $50. CNS Photo.
ALFRED MEAKIN CO. MARK - The Alfred Meakin company has made ironstone dinnerware in Staffordshire, England, since 1891. CNS Illustration.

What can you tell me about my vase?

A: You have a cream pitcher rather than a vase. Red Wing Potteries was located in Red Wing, Minn., from 1877 to 1967. Your creamer is an example of the "Smart Set" pattern that was part of their Casual line of dinnerware that was introduced in 1955. The Casual line featured five different patterns that included complete dinnerware sets and accessories. The line was designed to be both appropriate for indoor tables yet casual for patio dining. In addition to the "Smart Set" pattern there are four other patterns: "Bob White," "Tip Toe," "Round Up" and "Hearthside." All five patterns were hand-painted, ovenproof, detergent safe and colorfast. The three raised dots are a result of the tripod that supported the creamer in the firing process.

Your mid-1900s creamer would probably be worth $25 to $50.

Q: This mark is on the back of a set of dinnerware that belonged to my grandmother. Some of the pieces are missing, but there are a total of 63 dishes. They are decorated with a dark rose design and gold trim against a white background. The story that has been passed down is my maternal grandfather served in the U. S. Army in France during World War I. While in England, on his way back to the States, he purchased the set for my grandmother. Since no one is alive on my mother's side of the family, I have no way to document the story.

Any information you can provide about my dinnerware will be greatly appreciated.

A: Alfred Meakin made your dinnerware. They have produced ironstone since 1891 in Staffordshire, England. This mark was used from 1891 to 1930. "Cambridge" is the name of the pattern. Not having a complete set diminishes the value.

Your circa 1918 set would probably be worth $350 to $550.

Q: Recently I acquired a porcelain tea set that is in excellent condition. It includes a teapot, creamer, sugar bowl, six cups and saucers. Each piece is decorated with colorful Asian designs that include some kind of animal. I can't tell if it's a dog or a lion. I was told the set is a vintage "Ardalt Food Dog in Spring" set.

Kindly let me know what you think the value of my set would be.

A: Ardalt was a mid-1900s New York firm that imported porcelain from Japan and Europe. The animals included in the design on your set are Chinese foo dogs that have features of both dogs and lions. The ubiquitous guardian dogs/lions frequently appear in Buddhist art and architecture. They often represent harbingers of spring.

Your tea set was made in Japan around 1945 and would probably be worth $150 to $225.

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Q: Five years ago I was given a picture from my neighbor's estate. It is titled "Sunflowers" by Vincent Van Gogh. His name is signed on the vase in the painting. I'm not sure if it's on canvas or on linen. It measures 18 by 26 inches. The words "C 1962 - N. Y. - No. 5 - Litho in U.S.A." are at the lower portion of the canvas.

I would appreciate your input.

A: You have a mass-produced copy of Van Gogh's original painting. The letter "C" shows it was copyrighted in 1962 in New York.

It would probably be worth $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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