Antique or Junque: Grueby known for its cucumber green glaze
Aug 24,2007 00:00 by Anne McCollam

Q: Enclosed is a photo of a brown colored scarab paperweight. Marked on the bottom is the image of a flower encircled by the words "Grueby Pottery - Boston - U.S.A." The scarab measures 4 inches long and it is in perfect condition. I have found a couple scarabs on the Internet, but they are matte green.

SCARAB PAPERWEIGHT - This scarab was made by W.H. Grueby of Grueby Pottery in Boston and would be worth between $700 to $900. CNS Photo. 
NORITAKE MARK - The Morimura Bros. were New York importers of fine porcelain like Noritake. CNS Illustration. 
I would like to know if the color has any bearing on the value and any other information you can provide.

A: W.H. Grueby established Grueby Pottery in Boston in 1897.

Most of their pieces were thrown on the potter's wheel and were inspired by the organic shapes found in nature and gardens. Although Grueby dabbled briefly early on in glossy glazes, most of his pieces were decorated with matte glazes, especially dark green. The texture and depth of color of his cucumber green matte glaze left other potteries green with envy. Even though they attempted to capture the essence of Grueby's cucumber green, they were always just runners-up. The pottery was closed in 1911.

Most collectors are willing to pay more for pieces decorated with Grueby's matte green glaze. All things considered, your brown scarab would probably be worth $700 to $900.

Q: My grandmother gave me her set of porcelain dinnerware over 50 years ago. Each piece is decorated with pink azaleas and trimmed in gold. Although there are two missing pieces, it is a service for 12 and includes eight serving dishes. I have enclosed the mark that is on each dish.

I treasure these beautiful dishes and would like to learn their approximate value.

A: Based on your description and mark, you have a set of the Azalea pattern that was made by Noritake China in Japan. The pattern was produced exclusively for Larkin China Co. in New York. The letter "M" represents the Morimura Bros., New York importers of porcelain and the number included with the mark represents the pattern. The dishes were premiums that were given to soap-buying customers from 1918 to 1941. Each box of soap included a dish, making it an incentive for customers to continue purchasing Larkin soap. Today the Azalea pattern is just as popular with collectors as it was with early consumers.

Your set of dinnerware would probably be worth $900 to $1,500.

Q: I have a lithographed paper-over-wood Victorian dollhouse that was made sometime between 1832 and 1895. It was made by R.L. Bliss Manufacturing Co. in Pawtucket, R.I., and it stands about 2 feet high, over 1 foot wide and 6 inches deep. The style is a two-story Victorian home with curtains at the windows. Considering its age, it is in very good condition.

I would like to know what it's worth.

A: R.L. Bliss Manufacturing made dollhouses in the 1800s and early 1900s. Most of their Victorian-style houses were made in the early 1900s and are very popular with collectors.

The value of your circa 1900 Bliss dollhouse would probably be $1,500 to $1,800.


"My Favorite Finds Flea Market Journal" by Harry L. Rinker is more than a journal. It is also a handy resource guide, an organizer and a teaching tool. Rinker shares his wealth of information on how to distinguish a gem from junk, how to evaluate flea markets, discusses how to arrive at a fair price and how too haggle, if you must. The section for recording and documenting flea market finds will make future references on your transactions always at your fingertips. The final section is brimming with all the tips and professional advice needed to make your hunt a success. Also collectors will love the zipper pouch in the very back of the book for storing receipts and business cards.

It is published by Potter Style and is available in bookstores for $15.

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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