This group of porcelains, a teapot and two cups, was made in Russia in 1923 in the “Supremist” style. It did not attract any bidders at a Florida auction early this year, even though it is a good example of a special style. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

This group of porcelains, a teapot and two cups, was made in Russia in 1923 in the “Supremist” style. It did not attract any bidders at a Florida auction early this year, even though it is a good example of a special style. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Circa 1920 tea set an example of Supremist Art in Russia

The abstract design of the pot and two cups was based on the circle, square and cross shapes.

Once in a while, an unfamiliar design shows up in an auction.

At the beginning of this year, the Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches listed a tea set, two cups and a teapot with an Art Deco look and unfamiliar marks. The set was white with black and red blocks of color. The teapot had a vertical spout and rectangular handles creating a new geometric shape.

The mark solved the mystery once it was translated. Written on the bottom of each piece in the Russian (Cyrillic) alphabet was the word that translated to “Supremist.” Next to it was the familiar hammer-and-sickle logo.

Some quick research told the story: It was an example of Supremist Art popular in Russia from 1913 to the late 1920s. (The teapot was dated 1923.) The Russian who created the style claimed it to be superior to all art of the past. It was totally abstract, based on the circle, square and cross and the colors red, white and black.

Yet something — the extreme look of the set, the high estimate of $7,000 to $9,000, the lack of demand for a teapot with cups instead of a set with teapot, creamer and sugar, or perhaps the Russian origin — kept bidders away. The group did not sell.

At any auction, there can be valuable items that are passed over because the day’s crowd is looking for something else. Timing and location do have an effect on prices.

Q: I have a piece of pottery with a printed mark of a ship on top of a globe. Below that there is a banner with some words I can’t read. I can make out the word “England,” There also is a banner above the mark, with some blurry words. Who made this dish?

A: W.H. Grindley & Co., a pottery in Tunstall, Staffordshire, England, used this mark from about 1880 to 1914. The pottery was in business from 1880 to 1960, when it was bought by Alfred Clough Ltd. The pattern name is on the banner at the top of the mark.

Q: I’m trying to find the thermos for a 1968 metal dome-top Snoopy lunch box with “Have Lunch with Snoopy” on one side and “Go to School with Snoopy” on the other. I’ve seen them with different thermos bottles, so I’m assuming the sellers are just putting what they can find with them. Which is the correct thermos? I found a plastic one that looks exactly like the lunch box, details and all, but since it was plastic and not metal, I wasn’t sure.

A: King-Seeley Thermos Company made this metal lunch box from 1968 to 1972. A yellow plastic version of the “Have Lunch with Snoopy” lunch box also was made. Some sources show the yellow plastic thermos with the metal dome-top lunch box, but most sources show the metal lunch box with a metal thermos bottle picturing Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder and Snoopy playing baseball. The thermos bottle picturing the whole gang also has been shown with a matching square metal Peanuts lunch box. The metal dome-top lunch box with thermos is worth about $100.

Q: I have a small clear vase with a “Kosta Sweden” blue label. It is very thin glass, has no etchings, is approximately 41⁄2 inches tall and has no other markings or color. Can you tell me any information about the maker?

A: Kosta has been in business in Sweden since 1742. The company name combines the first few letters in the last names of the founders, Anders Koskull and Bogislaus Stael. Kosta made window glass, glass for light fixtures and drinking glasses until the late 1890s, when it hired its own designers and started making art glass. The name became Kosta Boda after Kosta merged with Boda and Afors in 1976. Your vase was made after 1891, when the country name was required on goods imported into the U.S., and before the 1976 merger. In 1989, Kosta Boda merged with Orrefors and was renamed Orrefors Kosta Boda. The company was sold to the New Wave Group in 2005. The Orrefors factory closed, and only the Kosta Boda label is used today.

Q: I inherited an old teapot my parents said is from the 1800s. It’s marked “James Dixon & Son” on the bottom. What is it worth?

A: James Dixon (1776-1852) began working in silver in Sheffield, England, in 1806. He worked in partnerships as Dixon & Smith in 1806, as Dixon & Son in 1823 and as James Dixon & Sons in 1835. At first, Dixon and his partner made silver spoons and buckles for shoes. The company made electroplated Britannia, nickel silver and silver-plated wares. By the 1870s, it was the largest manufacturer of Britannia metal. Britannia is a pewter alloy made from about 92 percent tin, 6 percent antimony, and 2 percent copper. This name “James Dixon & Sons” was used as a mark beginning about 1851. A trumpet and banner were added to the mark in 1879. James Dixon & Sons became part of British Silverware about 1983 and production stopped in 1992. James Dixon & Sons teapots sell for $30 to $75.

Tip: If you buy an old piece of furniture, smell it. If it smells musty, there must be mold spores somewhere, perhaps on the bottom of the seat. Wipe the furniture with denatured alcohol. Finished wooden surfaces can be cleaned with furniture cleaner.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. Write to Kovels, The Daily Herald, King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

Current prices

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

RS Prussia, celery dish, pink roses, green leaves, light green ground, white handles, 13 1/2 by 7 inches, $30.

Bossons, wall mask, man, smiling, green hat, split moustache, 6 by 5 inches, $20.

Bottle, soda, Catawba Club beverages, 8 1/2 inches, $120.

Mardi Gras, parade bulletin, Krewe of Proteus, Zoraster, Walle & Co., 1912, 28 by 42 inches, $340.

Trunk, Louis Vuitton, monogram, garment bag, rolling, 54 by 22 1/4 inches, $365.

Cupboard, bonnetiere, Louis XIV, stepped crown, three-panel door, drawer, block feet, 86 by 28 inches, $400.

Paul Revere, pitcher, yellow and cream lotus blossom border, taupe, handle, Saturday Evening Girls, 9 by 10 1/4 inches, $510.

Clarice Cliff, vase, bizarre ware, pink flowers, magenta outline, blue ground, 4 1/4 by 8 inches, $615.

Doulton, vase, incised horse, blue chalice band, blue scroll band, Lambeth, Hannah Barlow, 11 1/2 inches, pair, $670.

Tinware, coffeepot, wrigglework, potted flowers, interlacing bands, circa 1840, 11 inches, $1,830.

Talk to us

More in Life

Owners Kim and Larry Harris at Bayernmoor Cellars on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020 in Stanwood, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
World-class wine, from grapes grown right here

Bayernmoor Cellars makes award-winning pinot noir from grapes grown at its vineyard northeast of Stanwood.

About a dozen metal dinosaurs sit in the front yard of a home owned by Burt Mason and Mary Saltwick on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 in Freeland, Washington. The couple are used to finding strangers in their yard and taking photos. Every year on their trip to Tucson, Burt and Mary bring home another figure  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Dinos on Whidbey? This Freeland yard is a Jurassic Park

These creatures from long ago won’t chomp or chase you, and you’re welcome to visit.

Drink This: 5 Snohomish breweries to host Smash and Dash

Each brewery takes the same base IPA recipe and then dry hops the beer with a different hop. Try them all.

Golden shakshuka

Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Golden Shakshuka is just the thing for a weekend brunch

This easy Middle Eastern egg dish is made with yellow bell peppers and yellow cherry tomatoes.

Don Sarver, left, and Kyle James, right, snowshoe on the Skyline Lake Trail on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 in Leavenworth, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Avoiding avalanches: How to know and where to go

Follow these tips for researching on-the-ground conditions from comfort of your home or local library.

(Getty Images)
You voted: The best Chinese food in Snohomish County

Even during a pandemic, people still have their favorites.

The parenting journey takes you on an adventurous path at each stage of your child’s development. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Growing up: The ages and stages of raising your children

One minute your child is the baby in your arms, and the next minute, they’ve just landed their first job.

The 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo produces up to 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. (Manufacturer photo)
Turbo power comes to Mazda’s Mazda3 compact for 2021

Ride, handling and cabin quality were already a given. Performance can now be added to the mix.

Dr. Paul on struggles with parenthood during the pandemic

It’s especially challenging if you have kids with special needs, you’re single or are out of work.

Most Read