Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Shelby

Help Identifying China Pattern and Value

Recommended Posts

My mom is starting to go through some of my Grammy's things.  She had like four complete sets of china (if not more lol).  I have one set that has never been unpacked.  Anyway, we are trying to figure out who made the following so that we could see if it's sellable (I really like the pattern....I'm debating on keeping the set for myself but I'm trying very hard to stop my hoarding tendencies lol).  Any help would be appreciated.  I did a google picture search but it didn't come up with anything even remotely close to the pattern.

 

Front

 

20160504_115144.jpg

 

Back

 

20160504_115155.jpg

 

 


Edited by Shelby (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see a maker's mark on the back; that would have made things much easier, of course. Replacements.com offers an identification service.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Alex. I'll try that site.  No, there are no identifying marks on any of the set.  I think that's odd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any idea where the set originated?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

Any idea where the set originated?

This is from my mom :

 

i think that set belonged to one of the grandmothers.  which would make it older than that.  possibly early 1900s??  gpa was born in 1924...possibly in the 1920s? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shelby - Some questions to ask yourself as you investigate these items:

 

Can you tell if the plates are porcelain or not? (Hold one up to a strong light source and see if you can see light through it - if so, they are probably porcelain - either hard or soft paste.)  Does the circular 'foot' on the bottom feel glassy and is it very white? That would also probably indicate porcelain. Or is it in any way rough or perhaps not quite 'white', which could mean they are some kind of 'pottery' or perhaps 'bone china' (which also isn't pure white because it actually contains bone ash). Hard to tell from a photo and of course distinguishing between 'fine china' and porcelain may be very difficult since I think the only real differences there is that one is harder than the other due to a difference in firing temperatures. 

 

Can you hear a 'bell-like ring' (similar to testing for crystal glasses but may be not as clear/loud) when you tap the edge of the plates (or you can try this on a cup - carefully) with a fingernail or does it thud? Porcelain will generally 'ring' but I am not sure if bone or fine will.

 

Can you tell if the pattern appears to be a decal or hand painted? If all the plates seem to be too perfectly decorated and all alike, it is probable that the main pattern was created with decals (although the gold edge may still be hand-painted). Are there any visible differences at all between pieces? Any slight lumps or dents or other imperfections? Older china that was handcrafted may not be completely perfect or be consistent across all the pieces. Mass produced china may be imperfect in decoration but that will be consistent across all pieces. Is there any crazing at all? And if there is crazing, is it uniform or random in appearance?

 

I am sorry that I don't know the answer to your question but I hope that you can find it - and I too would have recommended Replacements.com had I seen this earlier. But, figuring out a few basic things about the composition and decoration, especially since there is no maker's mark apparent, may help you further identify things if replacements.com can't help you or you don't go that route.

 

Anyway .. the china (whatever it is) has a very pretty pattern I agree - and I hope you find out what it is and whether there is any significant monetary value - though since it has come down in your family, it already has a wonderful provenance and I am sure great emotional value.


Edited by Deryn (log)
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much, Deryn.  Great tips and questions.  I will send this to my mom (she's in Colorado with the dishes...I'm in Kansas so I can't physically touch them).

 

You're very right.  They hold sentimental value and we love the pattern.  I think mom and I have talked each other in to not selling it lol.  

 

Grammy's other sets of china are also very pretty....

 

repeating to myself I will not hoard I will not hoard lol.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, Shelby,  I wasn't very clear.  What I meant was, did it arrive in the U.S. from some other country?  I am Dutch and my parents immigrated to Canada and they brought some stuff with them from Holland.  So if your grandparents immigrated from some other country, that may be where the China originated?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Shelby said:

You're very right.  They hold sentimental value and we love the pattern.  I think mom and I have talked each other in to not selling it lol.

 

I have what remains of my grandmother's dishes and totally support holding on to them if you have the space.   My nanny's dishes were not "fine" by any definition.  They are a Staffordshire flow blue pattern called Watteau, like this one on ebay.   They were much used and many of the plates and serving pieces have fine cracks under the glaze from being heated in the oven because my grandmother always wanted hot food served HOT!  

 

A lot of them broke in the Northridge earthquake and sometimes I kick myself for having had them out on display rather than carefully packed away but then I wouldn't have had the pleasure of seeing them on those shelves every day.  

So my recommendation to you or your mom - if you decided to keep them, use them or display them so that you get to enjoy them.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

I have what remains of my grandmother's dishes and totally support holding on to them if you have the space.   My nanny's dishes were not "fine" by any definition.  They are a Staffordshire flow blue pattern called Watteau, like this one on ebay.   They were much used and many of the plates and serving pieces have fine cracks under the glaze from being heated in the oven because my grandmother always wanted hot food served HOT!  

 

A lot of them broke in the Northridge earthquake and sometimes I kick myself for having had them out on display rather than carefully packed away but then I wouldn't have had the pleasure of seeing them on those shelves every day.  

So my recommendation to you or your mom - if you decided to keep them, use them or display them so that you get to enjoy them.

LOVE that deep blue color.  Don't kick yourself.  Things break.  Like you said, no point in keeping them in a box where you can't see them.  My Grammy seemed to never break a dish or get a scratch on furniture etc. etc.  I don't know how.

 

 I didn't inherit that trait lol.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you google 'china matching' you will come across a large number of companies that offer a similar service to that suggested above by Alex. 

 

I would second what Blue-Dolphin says about using and enjoying your family dishes. You will no doubt recall happy times with your family each time you use them or see them if you put them on display, they are very pretty.

 

I regularly visit a vast second hand place when in France. It usually stocks dozens of complete dinner services that were probably wedding gifts decades earlier but which were considered 'best' and so hardly used. The shop owner does house clearances and so often he will have the entire content of a deceased person's home. I think it is such a shame to have things considered too nice to use, especially when friends and family no doubt invested significantly to buy them. Just my thoughts of course.  

 

Like you I need to be careful about hoarding, one day we will clear our attic that is full of stuff from my own mothers house that we packed up 28 years ago and haven't looked at since. You can see I have a way to go to address my dis functional habit!  Having said that there are many items in our kitchen that also came from my mother or my husband's mother including the Kenwood Chef (56 years old and working fine) our favourite knife, numerous mixing bowls, cake tins etc. I love using these things, a link to past times and memories. I really hope that if you keep your china it brings you similar happy memories.

 

Please post the manufacturer and name of your service if you manage to discover it,  I am no expert but I would date it from the 1900s to 1930s if I came across it.  I'm guessing from your photo that it has a lustre glaze that was popular in Europe at that time.  Can you tell if the pattern is painted on or fixed with a transfer? Sometimes this can be worked out from the feel of the surface. The gold rim seems to have kept well on the piece in your photo, often these discolour or flake off even on expensive pieces with time

 

Looking forward to learning more as you continue your research. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm taking a short break from researching today and tomorrow---horse racing obsession.  But, I'll be back on it next week and will definitely update when I find out more info :)  

 

Thanks again, everyone for all of the help.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I know about china could be written inside a matchbook cover by a kindergartener, with room left. But that is a beautiful pattern, and I'd be inclined to keep it and, if I had to, dispense with something else.

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a good chance that they are unmarked because they were painted as a hobby by a relative. There are still paint your own pottery places today, but, the hobby was huge in the early 1900s.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a really fun tea service that's transfer printed and completely unmarked from one of my great aunt's, cheap but very pretty, featuring thatched cottages and roses. It's so twee it's actually quite charming. We reckon it was a buy a piece at a time from Woolworth's job in the 30's. I am keeping it for if I ever run a B and B on the farm (I have the space) because I reckon the guests would eat it up. :) Meanwhile it's safely tucked up in a suitcase as I have more than enough mugs :D

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mom came for a couple of days and brought the china :)  Some of the pieces are stamped!  Odd to me that they all aren't stamped but anyway it allowed us to look them up.  We ended up keeping the set.  She kept a couple of plates and the rest is in my china cabinet.

 

So, here's what it is:

 

photo 1.jpg

 

photo 2.JPG

 

Thanks again for all the help.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice!  Thanks for letting us know the result.  I'm glad you kept it.  I hope to see photos of it in, oh, the Dinner topic? :)

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I think we got a little peek at it over in the ice cream topic with some lovely looking homemade vanilla ice cream and fudge sauce.  

I was going to ask, but didn't want to take the ice cream people off topic :D!

Did I spot that correctly, @Shelby?

Yes, yes you did :)   The bowls are the perfect size for a little scoop or two :) 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, cakewalk said:

Lovely pattern, enjoy using them. Have you seen this? http://www.mygrannysatticantiques.com/html/a_basic_guide_to_dating_edwin_.html

 

 

No!  Very interesting!   Thank you so much.

 

So, if I'm reading the chart right, my dishes were made in 1966 in the month of July?  We honestly thought these were a lot older than that.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Shelby said:

No!  Very interesting!   Thank you so much.

 

So, if I'm reading the chart right, my dishes were made in 1966 in the month of July?  We honestly thought these were a lot older than that.  

That's how it would seem, but I'm not so sure. According to this (http://www.robbinsnest.com/china/edwin-knowles/history.html) they ceased operations in 1962, so I don't see how your dishes can be from 1966. I don't really know much about this, I Googled it because the pattern is so nice, I wanted to learn more about it as well. Also I was looking for some dishes a while ago to complete a set that I remember using when we were growing up, purely nostalgic, and I was reading a bit about old China. (Mine are glass, not China, of the variety that people got in the supermarkets in the 1940s and 50s. But they're really nice. Emerald green glass.) If I find more about your dishes, I'll post it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cakewalk said:

That's how it would seem, but I'm not so sure. According to this (http://www.robbinsnest.com/china/edwin-knowles/history.html) they ceased operations in 1962, so I don't see how your dishes can be from 1966. I don't really know much about this, I Googled it because the pattern is so nice, I wanted to learn more about it as well. Also I was looking for some dishes a while ago to complete a set that I remember using when we were growing up, purely nostalgic, and I was reading a bit about old China. (Mine are glass, not China, of the variety that people got in the supermarkets in the 1940s and 50s. But they're really nice. Emerald green glass.) If I find more about your dishes, I'll post it.

Thank you!  Now I'm double interested to find out more about them.  I'm going to look at the backs of more of them to make sure, but I'm pretty sure that the numbers are 66-7.....but that wouldn't make sense like you said with them quitting earlier than that.

 

The mystery deepens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I couldn't take it.  I just dug through all the china.  As much as I think the one bowl says 66-7, the others say either 44-6 or 44-7.  That seems more likely.

 

Platter

 

photo 1.JPG

photo 2.jpg

Bowl--just like the first one I posted 

 

photo 2.jpg

 

photo 1.jpg

 

 

 

So strange.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like the 44 got distorted on the first bowl! Good job solving the mystery!


Edited by robirdstx (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×