Antique upright pianos seldom sold for more than $500

This beautiful, old German piano is by R. Gors & Kallmann.

Older models often require a complete rebuild that can keep their value down on the secondary market.

Dear Helaine and Joe:

I inherited this antique upright piano marked “R. Gors and Kallmann, Kaiserl. U. Konigl. Hoflieferanten, Berlin.” I believe it dates from approximately 1913 or 1914. The black finish was polished but all else seems to be original. I know it was given to my family by an emperor and would like to know its true history and value. We still play it and intend to keep it in the family for the near future.

Thank you,


Dear H.:

We understand why you might believe this was given by an emperor because of the double-headed eagle insignia and the words “Kaiserl U. Konigl. Hoflieferanten.” But all this means is R. Gors and Kallmann were purveyors to the imperial household and royal court of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It does not mean an actual emperor ever owned this particular piano, played it or gave it away.

R. Gors and Kallmann of Berlin had a royal warrant to supply pianos to the court. But the same company made many more pianos for everyday use by everyday people. To put this piano into the hand of an actual Austro-Hungarian Emperor, indisputable, written proof would have to exist. Anecdotal family legend is nice, but far from conclusive.

Some say Gors and Kallmann was founded in Berlin in 1877, but that date is open to some question. The company is said to have used serial number 1,000 in 1881 and made pianos with numbers in the 55,600 to 57,000 range in 1914. The instrument in today’s question has a serial number of 52,628, which makes it pre-1914 according to some sources, but serial numbers on Gors and Kallmann pianos are not absolute proof of a specific manufacture date.

In general, Gors and Kallmann were known for making large, traditional upright pianos, as well as some baby grand pianos. But we could find no reference to full-sized grand or concert grand pianos. The older uprights are said to be overdamped but have a good tone and are generally rated as good pianos.

The company that made this upright was owned by Wilhelm Robert Theodor Gors and Friedrich August Heinrich Kallmann and produced pianos until the 1990s, when the name was sold to an Asian company.

Unless upright pianos are regularly and rigorously serviced, they tend to wear out and have a lifespan of around 60 to 70 years. This is often due to deterioration of some — if not all — of the major mechanical parts, such as the strings, tuning pins, action and perhaps even the soundboard.

Upright pianos will sometimes sell as practice pianos for beginners or to homes where they will be used for family singalongs, but they are seldom rated as fine musical instruments. Realistic values of old/antique upright pianos seldom rise above the $500 mark.

Read the original article here.

9 Items in Your Kitchen That Could Be Worth Money

What’s taking up space in your kitchen could be someone else’s treasure.

Those large sets of silver-plated dinnerware or crystal stemware you inherited? They may not be worth as much as you hope, but your kitchen could still contain treasures. “Today’s kids don’t want what their great-grandmothers grew up with,” says Helaine Fendelman, a New York City-based expert in art, antiques, and collectibles. “Most of the kids today want IKEA, Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel—stuff they can put in a dishwasher. They don’t want things like gold and silver.”

That doesn’t mean that you don’t have valuable items hiding in your kitchen. These days, there’s a “Magnolia effect,” inspired by former HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, says Marsha Dixey, consignment director at Heritage Auctions. “A lot of people are mixing older stuff with this mid-century stuff and making it work,” she says. So while your grandmother’s china might not fetch a pretty penny, those fun salt and pepper shakers from the 1950s could be worth more than you think. Here are some potentially valuable items that might be gathering dust in your kitchen:

Antique stoves

If you have an 1880s stove that’s still in excellent working condition, you can get between $3,000 and $5,000 for it, Fendelman says. “The West Coast is a hotbed of old stove people,” she says. Curious if yours might be worth money? Check out the Barnstable Stove Shop, which restores and sells antique coal stoves and gas kitchen ranges.


One of Fendelman’s friends collects whimsical teapots. She’s paid between a few dollars to a couple of hundred dollars for them. “She has them in her kitchen and they’re beautiful,” Fendelman says. She recommends the websites Ruby Lane and Cyberattic as good resources for getting a sense of the value of kitchen collectibles. Don’t miss these 10 hidden treasures that could be in your garage.

Wall clocks

“Anything that has color, that has form, that has shape, that’s different,” is appealing to collectors, Fendelman says. She had a wall clock in her kitchen that she paid $18 for and ultimately sold for $25. “So you’re not going to get rich,” Fendelman says. “But they’re fun to decorate with.”

Cast iron

Cooking with cast iron has come back into vogue, but people are also looking for pieces they can display. One popular item? A company called Prizer developed an enamel for their cast-iron cookware that brought color to kitchens in the 1950s and 1960s, Dixey says. Pieces like that appeal especially to millennial collectors today. “It’s something that they don’t just put on a shelf and look at,” Dixey says. “They get to use it.”

Vintage toasters

Another friend of Fendelman’s collects vintage toasters. He bought them for anywhere from $50 to $150, she says. One thing to remember: the condition is paramount in anything you’re looking to sell. “Everything has to work,” Fendelman says. “You can’t have missing pieces or missing parts. A rolling pin with one handle doesn’t cut it.”

Vintage cookbooks

“The Fannie Farmer cookbook is not a good one, but there are early cookbooks that are valuable,” Fendelman says. In fact, there’s a shop devoted to them in New York City called Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks. So if you’ve got a copy of, say, The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking on your shelf, it could be worth money. Find out what rare books could be worth a fortune.

Salt and pepper shakers

Many people collect figural salt and pepper shakers, such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse or fire trucks, Fendelman says. “They’re fun to decorate with and have on your table,” she says. For example, a set of porcelain Dachshund shakers goes for $38.

Cookie molds

Carved wooden cookie molds made in Pennsylvania and Germany are also in demand. “They have to have figures of people on them to be really rare,” Fendelman says. A mold of an angel with a horn crafted by a master woodcarver is going for about $21.99. Here are 8 cheap things that could be worth a fortune someday.

Le Creuset Cookware

You may have gotten this premium cookware from Williams Sonoma and Crate and Barrel, and it retains its value. “More and more I see them on the secondary marketplace selling for almost as much as when they were new,” Fendelman says. So if you’re looking to unload your dutch oven, you might get back close to what you paid for it.

Wrought-iron cooking spoons and ladles

Utensils that date back to the 1800s are also popular among people looking to add a rustic touch to their homes. Items like this wrought-iron ladle may have peaked in public interest and Dixey doesn’t think they’ll appreciate further. “Still, $20 is $20,” Dixey notes. Next, find out what items from your childhood could be valuable.

Read the original article on Reader’s Digest here.

Treasures: Chinese Soapstone Carving is an Attractive Find

In this case, bigger would have been better.

Dear Helaine and Joe:

I hope you can help me identify this piece of sculpture. My mother had this piece sitting around for years and now it has been passed down to me. It is 7 inches tall and 6 inches wide. What is it called? And does it have any value? Thank you, E. P.

Dear E. P.: Yes, it does have a name, and yes, it does have monetary value. But we were a little nonplussed by the term “sculpture.” We have never thought about pieces of this sort being designated this way. We tend to call such pieces “carvings,” but we suppose that since it’s a three-dimensional depiction of a bird among foliage, “sculpture” is not entirely out of the ballpark. When we first saw the photos, we thought it was well carved, but our eyes did not pick up the pictorial content right away because the image was on its side. We thought it was a chrysanthemum and did not see the bird until we turned our heads and had an ah-ha moment. This double vase is a Chinese soapstone carving, probably from the early years of the 20th century. We see some art nouveau influence in the curving, curling leaves and the naturalistic rendering of a mythical bird known as “fenghuang.” Many times the bird is referred to as a phoenix, the mythical bird that bursts into flames at the end of its life and then rises from the ashes. This is a Greek myth that should not be transferred to Chinese carvings because in this case, East does not really meet West. The fenghuang rules over all the other birds. Originally “feng” was the male bird and “huang” was the female, but over time they merged to become one bird. The bird is also called the “ho-ho bird” or “August Rooster,” and yes, the “Chinese phoenix.” At one time, it was said that the fenghuang bird had the beak of a rooster, face of a swallow, neck of a snake, breast of a goose, back of a tortoise, hindquarters of a stag and the tail of a fish. Yes, one weird bird. The fenghuang is the symbol for virtue and grace and is the union of yin and yang. The vase belonging to E. P. is made from a mottled reddish-brown soapstone or steatite that is an easily carved talc schist. The talc content varies in the stone, and the ones used by the Chinese for this type of carving were up to 80 percent talc, while the soapstone used today for such things as countertops is only 30 percent talc. Soapstone, which was also carved by Vikings, Egyptians, Inuits, Native Americans and many others, can be found in shades of pink, white, gray, brown, green, black, yellow and more. Large intricately carved pieces of Chinese soapstone (depictions of mountains, villages and the like) can bring serious money, but smaller pieces such as this one are much more common and less expensive. The Chinese soapstone carving belonging to E. P. is better carved than most and the color of the soapstone is attractive. In our opinion it should be insured for between $200 and $300 if it is in perfect condition.

Read the original article here.

Treasures: Soup Tureen is a Piece of New York history

The value of this tureen is more historical than monetary.

Dear Helaine and Joe:

I need your help in finding out the origins of this soup tureen, which was passed down to me from my grandmother. I tried to Google the manufacturer but had no luck. It does have a small chip inside the lid. Can you give me some idea about its age and value?

Thank you,

N. M.

Dear M. N.,

We love a good mystery, and when we got this question, we checked out the mark. It reads “Nicol & Davidson New York,” written at the top of what would be a representation of a garter — as in “Order of the Garter” — if the piece were English in origin. But we believe it is not.

Inside the garter is written “Imperial China.” The written sources gave us no clue, so like M. N., we Googled it. And also like M. N., we thought we found nothing. But we clicked on nothing and out popped what we think was an ad from the New York Times dated Oct. 9, 1872. And suddenly we had the end of the string.

Under “Nicol, Davidson & Co.” it read, “No. 686 Broadway factory #4 Great Jonesstreet, Decorators of porcelain, offer a splendid assortment of ornamental dinner, tea and desert service; also, white French China, India China, by set or piece.” We left some of the capitalization out because today it would look like internet shouting, but this is essentially what appeared in the New York Times 146 years ago.

This is all the historical information we could locate, and we need to figure out how it relates to the soup tureen. What we surmise from the little blurb of information is Nicol & Davidson were essentially china decorators who also retailed certain kinds of china that were popular in the New York City market at the time.

We believe the white china base on the piece was probably made in France, probably in the Limoges region, and sent to Nicol & Davidson as a so-called “blank,” or undecorated piece of china. The form is elegant with a funnel foot and neoclassical handles and a finial that appears to have some sort of faint design either impressed or painted. It is hard to tell from the photograph.

At this point, we think Nicol & Davidson probably added the graceful and subtle ribbon and flower pattern that graces both the bottom and the lid. The rims appear to have been heavily gilded as well, but unfortunately, time and use have rubbed much of the gilding away.

We strongly believe the tureen was decorated in New York and not in France, and we also firmly believe it was once part of a much larger dinner service. It is our opinion it was made sometime from the mid-1870s to the late 1880s with a circa date of 1880.

The value of the piece is really historical. It is a piece of New York history, and is probably something of a rarity. A similar tureen without the Nicol & Davidson connection might be worth somewhere in the $175 to $250 region, but this particular tureen should be treasured for its place in the narrative of New York City’s artistic and industrial past.

View the original article here.

Treasures: Beautiful Victorian Vase is out of Fashion with Collectors

Putti play on this rococo-influenced vase.

Dear Helaine and Joe: My wife inherited a vase from a friend in 1980. Imprinted on the bottom is a beautiful logo that says “Victoria-Carlsbad-Austria.” We are hoping you can tell us something about the origins of this piece.

— I. and C.R.

Dear I. and C.R.: This is a beautiful piece of late-Victorian porcelain that unfortunately is completely out of fashion with current collectors.

We hate the circumstance, because it’s a piece that should wow the viewer. But instead, it is often seen as being too fussy, too grandmotherly and out of step with 21st century style. What a shame.

The piece is marked “Carlsbad, Austria,” but that is a bit misleading. Carlsbad (sometimes spelled “Karlsbad”) was a town located in Bohemia, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time the piece was made. After the end of World War I, Carlsbad became Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia (later the Czech Republic).

Carlsbad was the well-known center for Bohemian porcelain. Sometimes factories outside the city proper would use the place-name in its mark just for the association in the marketplace. The two-handled vase in today’s question was actually made in Altrohlau, Bohemia (modern-day Stara Role, Czech Republic).

Stara Role is located just 71 miles west of Prague, which is very close to Carlsbad/Karlovy Vary. The mark on the piece is in a blue oval that is extremely well-known to collectors because the company was prolific, making everything from fairly expensive pieces to items just for household or hotel usage.

The factory’s name is Porcelain Factory “Victoria” Schmidt & Co., founded in 1883. Among other things, they made souvenirs for the St. Louis World’s Fair and cities such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. They made fish sets, chocolate sets, dinnerware, desk furnishings, oyster plates, biscuit jars, cake plates, match strikers, cabinet plates, tea wares, urns and vases.

Most, if not all, the wares are transfer-printed, and the company appears to have been trying to produce wares similar to but much cheaper than those produced at the Royal Vienna Factory, which had been in the fine porcelain business since the early 18th century. Collectors probably mark the “Victoria” products from the company down because there is little that is original and most of it was mechanically produced.

Still, this rococo-influenced piece with its white reserve of putti cavorting through trailing flowering vines has some visual pizazz. The value of the piece depends very much on its size, which we do not know.

If it is 12 inches tall or more, we believe it should have a value in the $85 to $110 range. If the size is smaller, the value could fall by about half.

View the original article here.

Treasures: Tea Set is from Famous Russian factory

Photo from TNS — The image is bleak, but Russian items often do well in the marketplace.

Dear Helaine and Joe:

I came across your articles and am wondering if you can help me out. I have some questions about the stamp on my tea set. It is from Russia and the decoration is Russian winter. I am attaching pictures of the mark.

Thank you,

O. T.

Dear O. T.:

We have been answering questions like this for almost 30 years now (yikes!), and this is the first time we have ever received an inquiry about an object from this rather famous porcelain factory.

We asked O. T. to send us pictures of the actual tea set and have used one of those rather than an illustration of the mark. The mark is in red and features a double-headed eagle surmounting a circle with the image of St. George slaying the dragon within. Around the outside in Cyrillic is the identification of the factory, which was established by Englishman Francis Gardner in 1766.

That year, the Russian College of Manufacturing gave Gardner permission to start a porcelain factory in the village of Verbilki, located in the Dmitrov district of Moscow Province. Gardner had spent time scouting out the location of the necessary raw material in Russia, but he realized that to be commercially viable he needed to scout out the European competition as well.

It is said that he sent his son to Western Europe to acquire models of Meissen and Sevres porcelain, but he also needed skilled workmen. It is reported that some “Russian noblemen” sent some of their serfs to work in the European factories to learn the necessary skills. It is also said that the serfs were unpaid.

Early on, Gardner began successfully competing with the Imperial Porcelain Factory that began under the auspices of Peter the Great but did not really prosper until the mid-18th century. Gardner tended to fashion his product according to the purchaser’s purse. Imperial commissions were lavish, while items sold to lesser human beings could be far less so. Lower end decorations might consist of initials, a wreath and a sprig or two tied with a ribbon or perhaps a bouquet of flowers.

The Gardiner family remained in control of the factory until 1892, when it was sold to Matvey Kuznetsov. After the Communist Revolution it was renamed after the town of Dmitrov, and when communism fell in Russia, the factory resumed its original name of Gardner.

The mark found on the tea ware belonging to O. T. was in use during the late 19th century. Some sources suggest Kuznetsov may have continued using it. The design of the porcelain does appear to be late 19th or even early 20th century to us, emphasized by the presence of flower finials rendered in a turn-of-the-century manner.

The hand-painted winter scene is bleak, but the sprigs that frame the scene suggest perhaps the promise that spring will follow. We do not know the extent of the tea set, but if it consists of a tea pot, sugar bowl, cream pitcher and eight cups and saucers. The retail value might approach the $4,000 to $5,000 range.

View the original post here.

Treasure Hunt

This small rose-colored vase was made by the Bohemian company of Loetz Witwe, and might sell at auction for $450 to $600.

DEAR HELAINE AND JOE: I would greatly appreciate your ideas on two items I have inherited from my grandfather. I think they are lovely and am guessing they have some value. One is a small rose-colored vase with a sterling silver design wrapped around it. It is approximately 3 5/8 inches tall. The other is a decanter set with six 6-ounce glasses and six 1.5-ounce glasses. There is a stoppered decanter plus another decanter without a stopper. Can you give me some idea as to their history and value?

— Q.T.

DEAR Q.T.: We have chosen to picture the rose-colored piece because we can suggest a maker. The liquor set is lovely and very typical of glassware made in a European region called “Bohemia,” which is now part of the Czech Republic.

This liquor set is decorated with a red overlay that has been cut down to the clear glass below. This “red cut to clear” has hobstars and round “windows” arranged in a very elegant design. This liquor set is a bit unusual because two sizes of glass have survived plus the one decanter with its stopper and the other decanter, which is sadly missing its original stopper.

This set is probably from the first quarter of the 20th century (say, circa 1910), but unfortunately it is not a type of glassware that is highly prized by collectors at the current moment. We feel an insurance replacement value for this set would be in the $250 to $350 range.

As for the small vase with the silver overlay that is pictured, we feel it can be attributed to the Bohemian company of Loetz Witwe. This firm was founded in 1839 by Johann Eisner in the Bohemian town of Klostermuhle (now Klastersky Mlyn, Czech Republic). The glassworks changed hands several times until 1851 when it was acquired by Frank Gerstner and his wife, Susanne.

Susanne was the widow — or “witwe” — of glassmaker Johann Loetz, and just before Gerstner died in 1855, the glass works were passed to her — thus the name of the company “Loetz Witwe” or Johan Loetz Witwe. During the mid- to late-19th century, Loetz made crystal, painted glass and overlay (similar to the glass overlay on Q.T.’s liquor set), but when the Art Nouveau style arrived just before the turn of the 20th century, Loetz glass became much more adventurous and artistic.

Some say the company was inspired by an 1897 exhibition of Tiffany glass displayed in Vienna and elsewhere in Bohemia, but in any event the company began producing iridescent glassware, some with trailings and internal decorations and they produced Art Nouveau naturalistic overlays in sterling silver.

Some of it is quite elaborate, but sometimes on smaller examples the overlay can be rather simple and understated as is it on the piece in today’s question. Like the liquor set, this diminutive vase is probably early 20th century and at auction we believe it would probably sell in the $450 to $600 range and retail for closer to $750 to $900.

Read the original article here.

Treasures: New York Herald Page Announcing Lincoln Assassination is a Fake

It looks real and right, but is it?

Dear Helaine and Joe:

Hello. I came across a page from the New York Herald announcing the assassination of Abe Lincoln. I have included several pictures of the item. I would like to know about it and its value.

Thank you,

M. B.

Dear M. B.

We answered a similar question some 7 1/2 years ago, but think we can revisit the subject without being redundant. While doing our research, we discovered a specialist in the area who noted he had seen 10,000 of the New York Herald newspapers and not one of them was genuine.

During our career, we have seen more than a few of these ourselves and none of them have been the real thing either. The New York Herald did not have circulation much beyond New York City, so surviving copies can be hard to find.

The newspaper was printed on good rag-based stock, which some think was confiscated from a Confederate ship trying to run the blockade at Wilmington, N.C. It does not yellow or crumble with age, while the reprints were generally printed on newsprint stock, which does yellow, crumble and split with age. The first reprint is said to have been done in 1871, which makes it almost 150 years old.

Reprints were made regularly through 1908 and from there to the present time where they can be purchased at the Ford’s Theater — the site of the Lincoln assassination — gift shop. But the early reprints have often been passed down through families as the genuine article.

We hear many stories about how the newspaper belonged to great-great-grandaddy who fought in the Civil War so it must be genuine, but it turns out to be a reprint worth somewhere between $50 and $150 according to auction results. Interestingly, there were a number of editions of the New York Herald on April 15, 1865.

The first was the 2 a.m. regular edition, followed by the 3 a.m. special edition, the 10 a.m. special edition and the 2 p.m. Inauguration edition that chronicled the Inauguration of Andrew Johnson. Reportedly, there was also a 10 a.m. record edition and a 3:30 p.m. special edition.

But there was no 8:10 edition like the one in today’s question. In addition, there was no edition of the New York Herald that had a drawing of a beardless Abraham Lincoln on the front page. All these are fakes.

Other signs of fakes include a notation near the top of the page that reads, “Whole Number 10459.” Originals have “Whole Number 10456.” Some reprints do have the correct 10456 number on them, but if the number is 10459, it is definitely a fake.

The 8:10 edition M. B. owns was thought to be genuine for some time, but in 1972, the Library of Congress declared it to be bogus. Earlier, we reported a $50 to $150 price at auction, but the prices may have been realized due to confusion about authenticity and may not be replicable when the facts are known.

View the original article here.

Treasures: Grandfather’s Pictures are Attractive Finds

John Bradshall Crandall’s “Pretty Polly” has great visual impact.

Dear Helaine and Joe: I have attached photographs of a couple of pictures in their original frames that belonged to my grandfather.

I am curious if they are worth anything. One is “Pretty Polly” by Bradshaw Krandell and the other is a boy and girl by George Iverd.

— C.N.

Answer: These were your grandfather’s and they are also very attractive, so they are worth something even if it is only sentimental value.

We are going to start by addressing the image titled “Pretty Polly” and signed by Bradshaw Crandell (not Krandell). John Bradshaw Crandell was born in Glen Falls, N.Y., and became known as the “artist of the stars.” Carole Lombard, Veronica Lake and Lana Turner posed for him, as did Judy Garland and Bette Davis.

Crandell was primarily an illustrator who began his career in 1921 with an ad for Lorraine hair nets, which were sold exclusively at F. W. Woolworth. That same year, he created a cover for Judge magazine. He established John Bradshaw Crandell Studios in 1925 but dropped his first name from the business name around 1935.

He was something of a pin-up artist and did some calendar work, but he also did oil on canvas portraits and poster work for 20th Century Fox. He created some nudes, notably “Water Nymphs,” and he did several different images of a woman with a colorful parrot, of which “Pretty Polly” is a wonderful example.

It is unfortunate C.N. did not tell us the size of her piece, but we suspect it was probably created in the 1930s or 1940s and would retail in the $65 to $85 range if it is in good, undamaged condition. Any unsightly damage whatsoever could reduce the value below the $10 range. It should be mentioned Crandell also did work under the pseudonym “Barclay Grubb.”

The other piece is signed by Eugene Iverd, the pseudonym for George Erickson (1893-1936), an illustrator, painter and very successful teacher. He is best known for his cover art done for Curtis Publishing. He created 29 covers for the Saturday Evening Post, but his covers can also be found on issues of McCall’s and Ladies’ Home Journal, among others.

Iverd/Erickson did commercial illustrations for many famous American companies, including Winchester Western, Pure Oil and Monarch Foods. He came to Erie in 1926, where he worked at Academy High School.

Iverd/Erickson is known for depictions of the joys and wholesomeness of childhood. He used the children of Erie as his models. This image of a sunny little girl dressed in a vividly yellow dress placing a flower in the overalls of a barefooted young boy makes the viewer long for simpler, purer times.

We must assume this is a print probably made between about 1926 and the artist’s untimely death in 1936. The value of this as a print is in the $50 to $75 range. In the highly unlikely event this is an original, the value would be much higher.

View the original article here.

Treasures: Calendar Plate has Historical Value

This calendar plate has a beautiful, but inaccurate, patriot print.

Dear Helaine and Joe: I found this piece in my mom’s apartment after she passed away. Looks like it was made by D.E. McNicol Pottery Co. The plate appears to have an image of the surrender of Cornwallis. Any thoughts on its value?

– C.F.

Dear C.F.: There’s monetary value, which we talk about a lot, and then there’s sentimental value, which I think we underplay. The plate has lost most of its monetary value because of the damage it has sustained in its 104 years of existence.

Many people say to us something like: It’s in good shape for its age. We recognize this as code meaning the piece under discussion looks like it has been run over by a truck at some point. The piece in today’s question has a rather large and unsightly chip out of its rim plus a network of serious crazing (fine cracks running through the glaze) and brown spots where grease has percolated through these cracks and stained the underlying pottery.

These imperfections turn collectors off big-time, and this lowers its monetary value significantly below the $10 mark. But, the piece does have historic value to C.F.’s family and does tell a story.

These are called “calendar plates.” They were made inexpensively and in large numbers by several American manufacturers. They were often given away as premiums by grocery stores, clothing stores, jewelers, hardware stores, liquor stores and such.

They often read “Compliments of” and then the name of the store and its address. Sometimes the type of business was listed. In this case, the store was Fopiano and Ferreria, 201 Atlantic Ave., Boston, but we have no real idea what kind of merchandise the firm sold.

The address, 201 Atlantic Ave., is near Christopher Columbus Park and not far from the Long Wharf. It is in an area that has been the site of redevelopment in the recent past, and Fopiano and Ferreria seem to have left no records.

The plate was indeed made by D.E. McNicol Pottery of East Liverpool, Ohio. The company began operation in 1892 and moved to Clarksburg, W.Va., in the 1920s. It stayed in business in the later location until the 1960s.

While in Ohio, McNicol made both yellow and white wares with a focus on dinner sets, toiletware (bowls and pitchers) and what is referred to as “odd dishes.” This charming calendar plate shows Lt. Gen. Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendering to George Washington at Yorktown, Va., but historically, Cornwallis did not show up. Brigadier Gen. Charles O’Hara actually surrendered. But it was not to George Washington. Washington refused to accept the sword of surrender and O’Hara had to give the sword to Washington’s second-in-command, Benjamin Lincoln.

But these are just details. If the plate were in better condition, this circa 1914 calendar plate would have been worth between $65 and $85 at retail.

View the original article here.