Antique or Junque: Coming clean on collectible wash set
Apr 13,2007 00:00 by Anne McCollam

Q: Enclosed is a photo of a matching washbowl and pitcher I purchased in an antiques shop in the early 1960s. On the bottom of each piece are the words "Eastern Flower - Wedgwood - Etruria - England."

I thought the flowers against the deep orange background were unusual for Wedgwood and wonder if there is any value to my wash set. I would love any information you can give me.

A: Josiah Wedgwood founded his pottery in England in 1759. Even though many people associate blue-and-white jasperware with Wedgwood, over the years they have been quite diverse in their products, designs and colors. In addition to the well-known jasperware, they have produced bone china, creamware, black basalt, red ware, fairy lusters and pearl ware. "Eastern Flower" is the name of your pattern.

WEDGWOOD POTTERY - This Wedgwood washbowl and pitcher were made in Eturia, England, around 1900 and the set would probably be worth $325 to $375. CNS Photo

MOORCROFT MARK - William Moorcroft established his pottery in Staffordshire, England, in 1913. CNS Illustration.

Wedgwood made your washbowl and pitcher in Eturia, England, around 1900 and the set would probably be worth $325 to $375.

Q: This mark is on the bottom of a vase I own. The vase stands more than 6 inches tall and is decorated with irises against a dark green background. I have done some research on the Internet, but haven't found any information that can document who designed my vase, William Moorcroft or his son Walter.

What can you tell me about its history and value?

A: William Moorcroft established his pottery in Staffordshire, England, in 1913. The words "Potter to H. M. the Queen" were added to Moorcroft's marks around 1928. William Moorcroft designed the pattern, Iris, in the early 1900s. Following the death of William, his son Walter ran the company and it is still in business.

Your vase would probably be worth $600 to $800.

Q: Many years ago my great-aunt gave me a small perfume bottle. It is green-colored glass with a sterling silver overlay in a scrolled design and stands almost 4 inches tall. The stopper is ground and also has silver overlay. It is in excellent condition, there are no chips or cracks. Etched on the bottom are the numbers "381."

I would like to know how old it is and what is it worth?

A: Glassware decorated with silver overlay was very popular in the art nouveau era. The silver design was first cut by a silversmith, then molded and applied directly to a glass object. Antique perfume and scent bottles are highly collectible. The number is a manufacturer's design number.

Your art nouveau perfume bottle was made in the early 1900s and would probably be worth $150 to $225.

Q: I am curious about four dinner plates that I have. They are decorated with multicolored flowers against a white background. Each is marked "Eggshell - Georgian - Homer Laughlin - Made in U.S.A. - J 40 N 5."

Anything you can tell me about my plates will be appreciated, especially their value.

A: The Homer Laughlin China Co. made your plates. "Eggshell" is the name of a shape that was introduced in 1937. "Georgian" is the name of the design. Eggshell Georgian is high-quality china that can be recognized by the embossing on the rim of the plates. The letters and numbers show your dishes were made October 1940 at Laughlin's plant No. 5 near Newell, W.Va.

Each plate would probably be worth $15 to $25.

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.