Antique or Junque: 'Hope' springs eternal
Mar 16,2007 00:00 by Anne McCollam

Q: Enclosed is a photo of a framed print that I would like to know more about. It belonged to my husband's aunt who has been deceased for many years. She wrote the word "Hope" on the paper that covers the back of the picture.

Could you please tell me the history and value of this print?

A: George Frederick Watts painted the original picture around 1885. He was an English Victorian symbolist artist who specialized in allegorical paintings. He lived from 1817 to 1904. The waiflike figure is swathed in gossamer fabric and sitting on the world with clouds at her feet. She is blindfolded with her head bent listening to a broken lyre. It has been suggested that Watts' allegorical portrait represents the idea of hope.

KEEP HOPE - This print of a George Frederick Watts original, 'Hope,' was made in the early 1900s and would be worth between $75 to $125. CNS Photo.

JOHNSON BROS. MARK - The Johnson Bros. company has produced semi-porcelain in Staffordshire, England, since 1883. CNS Illustration.

Prints of "Hope" were produced in very large quantities in the early 1900s and many have survived. The value of your framed print would probably be $75 to $125.

Q: This mark is on the back of a semiporcelain dinner plate that belonged to my great-grandmother. The plate is decorated with sprigs of brown flowers against a white background. It is in mint condition and I think it dates back to the early 1900s.

Please provide any information you can about its origin, age, and value.

A: Johnson Bros. made your plate and used this mark in the 1890s. They have produced semiporcelain in Staffordshire, England, since 1883. "Petunia" is the name of the pattern and "26" is the design number.

Your plate would probably be worth $25 to $50.

Q: While doing family research I found an old menu. It was among my mother's belongings, measures 4 inches by 6 inches, and is dated December 1905. She would have been about 12 years old and the family was traveling home after living in China for around three years. The menu lists breakfast and lunch selections offered on one side in German and the other in English. On front are the words "Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen" and a color picture of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

I am curious if it has any value today or is just an interesting family keepsake?

A: Vintage menus are collectible. They appeal to a variety of collectors that include those interested in ephemera/paper items, dining, ship, and travel memorabilia, and also historians. Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd) - Bremen was a German ocean liner. It was constructed in the late 1800s and was known for its speed.

Your 1905 menu would probably be worth $35 to $100.

Q: I have a porcelain kitchen canister set that has been in our family for years. There are 15 containers with lids and are all decorated with blue and white windmill scenes. Marked on the bottom of each piece is the word "Germany."

Any information you can provide will be appreciated.

A: Porcelain canister sets, especially those with blue and white Delft windmill scenes, were popular with homemakers in the first half of the 20th century. Aside from being functional, they were welcome decorative accessories to kitchens. Many similar sets were made in Germany and Czechoslovakia. Your set was made around 1920 to 1930 and can be found in antiques shops in the $250 to $275 range.

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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