Antique or Junque: Heirloom vase will make valuable wedding gift
May 16,2008 00:00 by Anne_McCollam

Q: I am planning to give the vase seen in this photo to my granddaughter. It was a wedding gift to my parents in 1920, stands approximately 7 inches tall, and is in excellent condition. Marked on the bottom are five castles and the words "Zsolnay - Pecs."

UNUSUAL VASE - This vase was made by Zsolnay Pottery of Pecs, Hungary, and is worth between $800 to $1,200. CNS Photo. 
ROSEVILLE POTTERY MARK - The numbers '393' refers to the design and the 7 is the height of your Roseville Pottery basket. CNS Illustration. 

I have always admired the vase's unusual pattern and lovely colors. Any information you can provide that I can pass along to our granddaughter will be appreciated.

A: Zsolnay Pottery was founded in 1862 in Pecs, Hungary, by Vilmos Zsolnay. The buildings included with the mark are actually churches rather than castles. They are a stylized representation of the five churches in Pecs. The factory is still in business today.

The value of your vase would probably be $800 to $1,200.

Q: I have sent the mark that is on the bottom of a blue pottery basket that was my grandmother's. The basket is decorated with a yellow lily against a textured blue background. It stands 7 inches tall and is in perfect condition. Also included with the mark are the numbers "393-7." I looked up the numbers in a reference book that I have and although other numbers were listed, mine weren't.

I don't know why they weren't included and hope you can solve this mystery for me.

A: You looked in the wrong book! Your basket can be seen in "Warman's Roseville Pottery" by Mark F. Moran. As a rule, reference books only list numbers that correspond to their photos. The pattern is "Zephyr Lily" and was introduced in 1946. It was available in blue, green and brown textured backgrounds with lilies in several different colors. The number "393" refers to the design and "7" is the height of your basket.

Your circa 1946 basket would probably be worth $150 to $175.

Q: When going through my father's things after he passed away, I found a photo of the 1940s musical movie stars Cesar Romero and Carmen Miranda. The photo was taken of them dancing and proved to be rather revealing on Miranda's part.

Along with the photo is a newspaper article claiming the photo never existed. Well it does and I have one.

What can you tell me about this old photo and since I plan to sell it, what is it worth?

A: Don't plan on retiring on the profits from the sale of your photo! It was produced in huge quantities and currently there is not a big demand for memorabilia of these two celebrities.

The position from which the photo was taken inadvertently exposed more than the photographer or Miranda intended.Apparently, the photographer, hoping to make the most of the opportunity, published hundreds of copies.

The value of your photo would probably be $25 to $50.

Q: I have a service-for-eight set of dishes that I inherited. They are decorated with purple violets, small yellow bell-shaped flowers, and green leaves against a white background. The edges all have a wide border of gold filigree. Each piece is marked with the words "Cunningham & Pickett, Inc. - Warranted 22KT Gold - Hand Decorated - Alliance - Ohio - Spring Violet."

Any information will be greatly appreciated.

A: Your dishes were made by Homer Laughlin China Co. and distributed by Cunningham and Pickett Inc. in Alliance, Ohio. "Spring Violet" is the name of the pattern that was produced by Laughlin from 1953 to 1968.

The value of your set would probably be $300 to $400.

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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