Antique or Junque: Vase more than earns its keep
May 25,2007 00:00 by Anne McCollam

Q: This is a picture of a vase that was given to my parents over 20 years ago. It was originally purchased in the late 1940s after World War II in Europe. The vase is about 14 inches tall and in perfect condition. Marked on the bottom are the words "Made in Austria, Hungary - 1904 - Zsolnay." Also included with the mark are five towers with crosses on top.

Could you give me any information on its history and value?

ZSOLNAY VASE - Zsolnay Ceramics of Austria, Hungary, made this vase in the late 1800s. It would probably be worth from $1,000 to $2,000. CNS Photo. 
ROYAL WORCESTER MARK - The Royal Worcester Pottery company of England has been in business since 1851. CNS Illustration. 
Zsolnay Ceramics, located in Austria-Hungary, made your vase. "1904" is the shape or design number and was recorded with the factory sometime between 1885 and 1887. "Made in Austria, Hungary" was first included with their marks on pieces exported to the 1879 Sydney World Exhibition. Judging from your photo, your vase was decorated with Zsolnay's Old Ivory glaze that was developed by designer, Tade Sikorski, in 1889. The pierced jewel-like medallions suggest a Moorish influence.

Your vase was made in the late 1800s and would probably be worth $1,000 to $2,000.

Q: This mark is on the base of a porcelain figurine of a young girl that I have. She stands over 6 inches tall and is wearing a blue gown and hat. Also included with the mark are the words "Grandmother's Dress - Modeled by F. G. Doughty" and the number "R.N. 799938 - 3081/2."

Any information would be appreciated.

A: Royal Worcester Pottery has been in business in Worcester, England, since 1851. The R.N. number shows the design was registered with the British government in 1935 and "3081/2" is the model number. Your figurine was in production from 1935 to 1983.

The value of "Grandmother's Dress" figurine would probably be $100 to $150.

Q: About 45 years ago, my aunt gave me a porcelain coffee pot in the shape of a woman. My aunt told me it was old at that time and it is in excellent condition. The woman has brown hair, a pink blouse with a blue collar, and an umbrella hanging from her arm. She is holding a white pitcher, which is the spout. Marked on the bottom are the words "Gesetzlich Geschutzt."

I would like to know if my coffee pot has any value.

A: Your figural coffee pot is a nice collectible that was made in Germany. "Gesetzlich-Geschutzt" are German words that mean the design is registered/patented with the government.

Your coffee pot would probably be worth $125 to $225.

Q: I still have a Marx "Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots" toy that was given to me in the 1960s. Two 9 inch tall robots stand on a 14-square-inch yellow plastic boxing ring. White plastic ropes surround the ring. There are push-button controls on each side to operate the robots. When a punch is scored, the robot's head pops up on a spring.

My toy is in mint condition and I would like to know if it has any value today.

A: Toys made by Louis Marx are highly collectible. He started his toy company after World War I and after years of producing extremely popular toys, he sold it to Quaker Oats Co. for over $31 million in the 1950s.

Your circa 1960s Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots would probably be worth $150 to $225. Add the original box and the value climbs to at least $275. That rocks!

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. © Copley News Service