Fall is traditionally a time for harvest, and grapes are one of the fruits frequently picked in early October. Since they were cultivated (and made into wine) during the Neolithic era, grapes have been granted many symbolic meanings, from power and divinity to life and health, hospitality, sacrifice, celebration and indulgence. No matter what they might represent, grapes are something good to eat or a source for a tasty drink, so it’s no wonder they often appear in decorative arts, especially tableware.
This glass pitcher, decorated with gilt and colorful enameled grapevines, was probably made as a decorative piece. It sold for $1,140 at a Morphy auction. It was made about 1895 by Moser, one of the most famous Bohemian glassmakers of the 19th and 20th centuries; the company is still active today in the Czech Republic. Ludwig Moser, who founded the company about 1857, started work as a glass engraver. His company is best known for its enameled glass, and this pitcher is an excellent example. But underneath the enamel, the glass has a coloring called Rubina Verde, shaded red and green.
Q: I have a question on this coffee set, which belonged to my grandmother (born 1884). She collected many things! I am confused because this set has four larger serving pieces (coffee pourer, creamer, sugar and ?). All of these items have the Ceramic Art mark (per your guide, says Belleek, 1906-1924). The set also has six cups and saucers, which are marked “J.P.L France” (Again, per your guide, 1842-1898). The pattern of all, however, appears to be identical to me, and I haven’t been able to find it anywhere.
A: That is an interesting question; you don’t often see a complete set of dishes with marks from different makers. The J.P.L. mark was used in Limoges, France, from the late 1800s to about 1932. It is unlikely that Ceramic Art and Limoges made the same pattern, but they did have something in common: They both made blanks to be decorated at other factories or by hobbyists at home. This may be the case for your coffee set. Professional decorators would sign the pieces they painted, usually with their initials. If yours aren’t signed, they may have been decorated by an amateur, making your set truly one of a kind.
Q: I am the administrator of my late husband’s estate and would like to know which of your books would be helpful in obtaining a price for his Beatles records and other memorabilia collection. If you know where in your library I can get specific information about them, I will gladly add those references to my cart. In truth, I would like to hire a Beatles expert to appraise the materials for sale. If you know of someone in the North Carolina area (do not want to drive far with all the materials onboard) and you are allowed to give me the information, I would appreciate it.
A: Beatlemania is still going strong with collectors. Prices can vary greatly depending on the item, its condition and whether it is signed. An album signed by all four band members can sell for thousands of dollars; an unsigned mass-produced poster can sell for less than $20; a set of nodder dolls in good condition can sell for hundreds of dollars.
We don’t have specific resources for Beatles memorabilia, but there is a Beatles section in the Kovel’s Price Guide. The 2023 edition is our most recent. Check the Buy/Sell Guides on Kovels.com; we have one for celebrity memorabilia.
We recommend finding a dealer or auctioneer who will take the entire collection, if you can; that will get you the best price. Look for an antique or consignment shop or auction house in your area that specializes in pop culture or celebrity memorabilia. A record store may be helpful. So would fan clubs, collectors’ clubs, or fan magazines. We do not know of any specialists in North Carolina, but there is a Beatles festival there called FabFest that may have resources.
TIP: If you have valuable old glass, you should keep it in a safe environment. It should be stored or displayed where there is some air movement to dry off the surface. Glass bottles and containers should be stored with the lids and stoppers open.
On the block
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.
Porcelain, basket, figural, woven exterior texture, chicken perched on rim, child standing at side, Continental, early 20th century, 11 by 10 inches, pair, $50.
Toy, tractor, John Deere, Model 730, diesel, green, box, collector’s coin, Precision Classics, 6 by 9 inches, $60.
Print, Moss, P. Buckley, Pigtails and Cattails, two girls with braided hair sitting on ladder, black cats, flower baskets, lithograph, 12 by 15 inches, $90.
Furniture, footstool, Renaissance Revival style, oak, needlepoint seat, leafy scrolls and flowers, turned H-stretcher base, early 20th century, 16 by 24 by 17 inches, $130.
Purse, mesh, multicolor flowers, blue and white ground, zigzag fringe, orange enamel frame, chain strap, marked, Whiting & Davis, 12 by 5 inches, $155.
Silver plate, tray, calling card, two applied birds and leafy branch around rim, stamped texture, gold leaf, Victorian, 10 by 14 by 7 inches, $230.
Bradley & Hubbard, lamp, green slag glass shade, six panes, filigree trim, ribbed column, six-petal base, brown patina, circa 1930, 22 by 18½ inches, $420.
Textile, panel, plaid, red, tan, cream ground, wool, cotton, rayon, Maria Kipp, circa 1955, 61 by 22½ inches, pair, $630.
Store, sign, soda fountain, Bon Bons, gold leaf lettering, black ground, reverse painted, wood frame, Long Island, N.Y., 9 by 40 inches, $1,260.
Window, leaded, bull’s eyes, oak frame, 1800s, 32 by 19 inches, two pairs, $1,510.