Antique or Junque: 'Silhouette' set casts a long shadow
Apr 20,2007 00:00 by Anne McCollam

Q: I inherited the mixing bowls and drip coffeepot seen in this photo from my 95-year-old uncle. Marked in gold on the bottom of each piece are the words "Hall's Superior Quality Kitchenware - Made in the U.S.A." In the 1930s and early 1940s, he was a feed salesman and later a coffee salesman. His daughter thinks they were bonus rewards for sales. I am 71 years old and can remember seeing them at his home when I was very young. Anything you can tell me about my "inheritance" will be appreciated.

A: Hall's China Co. located in East Liverpool, Ohio, made your mixing bowls and drip coffeepot. They have been in business since 1903. The mark you described was not used until 1932. Silhouette is the name of the pattern. It is decorated with black decals and was introduced in the 1930s. Hall's did make the Silhouette pattern for two coffee manufacturers, Standard Coffee and Cook Coffee, and they both used them as premiums. Crooksville China Co. used a similar decal, but included a dog. Hall's reissued some of their Silhouettepieces in the 1990s.

HALL CHINA - Hall China Co. of East Liverpool, Ohio, made these mixing bowls and this drip coffeepot in the 1930s. The items would probably fetch from $285 to $350. CNS Photo.

NIPPON PORCELAIN MARK - 'Nippon' is the Japanese word for Japan. The letter 'M' represents the Morimura brothers, New York importers of porcelain from Japan. CNS Illustration.

Your mixing bowls and drip coffee maker were made in the 1930s and the set would probably fetch $285 to $350 in an antiques shop.

Q: I read your column every week and always wish I were one of the lucky people who own valuable heirlooms. Imagine my surprise when I read about a Nippon footed vase recently and found the marking on it matched the one on a dish I bought at an estate sale. It has a stylized pattern painted on the interior and a Greek key design around the outer edge. It is footed also, 8 inches in diameter, and in mint condition. I have enclosed the mark.

I bought it in honor of my Japanese sister-in-law and only paid $3. Did I stumble onto a winner? Can you tell what it was used for, its age, and value?

A: We have a winner! Nippon pieces are highly desirable antiques and worth much more than the $3 you paid.

Similar porcelain bowls were used for bon-bons, nuts or flowers. "Nippon" is the Japanese word for Japan and the letter "M" represents the Morimura Brothers. They were New York importers of porcelain from Japan.

Your bowl was made in the early 1900s and its value would probably be $250 to $300.

Q: I bought a pottery vase from an antique shop for $120 and would like to know more about it. The vase is round with a scalloped edge and stands about 4 1/2 inches tall. It is decorated with a daisy-type flower in relief against a matte blue glaze. Marked on the bottom is the word in script "Weller." The dealer told me the pattern is Neiska.

Anything you can tell me will be appreciated.

A: The price is right, but the pattern is wrong! Based on your description of the pattern, your vase is an example of Weller's pattern Bouquet, rather than Neiska. A mottled background is the primary difference between the two patterns. Although the flower can be mistaken for a daisy, it is actually a molded dogwood flower, and on some pieces was accompanied by a lily of the valley. Bouquet was made with blue, green or light-gold matte backgrounds. Weller Pottery was in business in Ohio from 1872 to 1945. Your vase was made in the 1930s and can be found in antiques shops in the $100 to $150 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.