With a colorful image of a majestic turkey, this platter is ready for Thanksgiving. Despite the all-American bird — Benjamin Franklin famously praised the turkey as “a true original Native of America” and “a Bird of Courage,” although, contrary to popular belief, he did not suggest it as a national symbol — it was made in England, marked for Copeland Spode.
This mark came into use about 1833, when William Copeland purchased the Spode pottery firm in Stoke-on-Trent. By this time, turkeys were known in England, but, being an exotic foreign animal, they were limited to the tables of the wealthy.
This platter, which sold for $352 at a Nye & Co. auction, was probably made later. Copeland made a series of plates with game birds in the 20th century, intended as accent pieces for an earlier pattern. About the same time, they made multicolor versions of earlier patterns that were originally made as single-color transfers.
Q: I have a gold-fleck-infused glass cornucopia and would like to know the maker, age and approximate value of this piece. My mother had this for several years but I don’t know where she acquired it or how old it is.
A: Glass with gold flecks, also called inclusions, is usually Murano or Venetian glass. Murano is one of the Venetian islands and has a long history of making some of the finest glass in the world.
Many Venetian manufacturers made cornucopia like yours in the mid-20th century. They were often sold at souvenir shops or exported to other countries. They were usually marked with a paper label, which can come off over time. We have seen Venetian glass cornucopia with gold inclusions sell for about $50 to $200.
Q: I have this lamp that sat on my grandfather’s desk (1890-1952). Nobody in the family seems to know anything else about it. I have searched everywhere on the lamp, but I am not locating a mark anywhere. The base is cast iron and the shade is glass. The lamp and shade weigh a little over 3 pounds combined and it is 14 ½ inches tall. The shade is 7 1/2 inches in diameter at the largest point. It appears that there may have been a cover of some sort on the bottom of the base but it is no longer there. I assume that is where any mark may have been. Any chance that you can tell me who made the lamp or anything else about it?
A: Lamps with metal bases and painted glass dome shades were popular from about 1900 to 1930. The most famous are made by Handel and are usually marked. Many other companies, including the Charles Parker Co. of Meriden, Connecticut; Classique of Milwaukee; Phoenix Glass Company of Monaca, Pennsylvania; Jefferson Co. of Follansbee, West Virginia; and Pittsburgh Lamp, Brass & Glass (Pilbrasgo) made less expensive lamps. They are not always marked. Some had bases with felt on the bottom and a tag sewn to the felt.
A lamp the size of yours may have been sold as a boudoir lamp. Today, unmarked antique glass lamps with metal bases sell for $50 to $200. Lamps with brass bases tend to sell for higher prices than cast iron. The lamp’s electrical cord may help you date it. Cloth covered wires were used before World War II. Rubber and vinyl coatings were used later. However, it’s possible for an antique lamp to be rewired with a later cord.
Q: I would like to know if wooden dice and marbles are of interest to anyone. Also, small guns, a rifle that actually opens up, old watch face, old compass, etc. I believe they are all from my grandmother who has been dead for almost 50 years and died in her 70s. Items are more than likely in excess of 100 years old.
A: There is plenty of interest in items like yours! If the guns you mentioned are real, not toys, check your local and state laws if you intend to sell them. The safest way to sell guns is through a reputable dealer. General antiques dealers will be interested in the rest of your collection. Antique toy and doll shows are usually the best places to sell old toys. There are many regional shows throughout the country. A collector’s club can help you find one near you.
TIP: Silver and gold trim will wash off dishes in time. Do not unload from the dishwasher any dishes with metallic trim until they have completely cooled.
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.
Toy, stove, Eagle, cast iron, molded scrolls, four pots and pans, salesman’s sample, marked, Lancaster Brand, 5 by 7 inches, $80.
Painting, folk art, hand lettering, “Eat your heart out,” multicolor, tan field, acrylic on wood board, Ruby C. Williams, 20th century, 7 ½ by 13 ¾ inches, $90.
Cranberry glass, epergne, three flutes, ruffled, applied rigaree swirl, piecrust base bowl, gilt stem holders, 21 by 10 ½ inches, $120.
Toy, turkey, multicolor, lithographed, sheet metal, clockwork, Blome & Schueler, box, Germany, U.S. zone, 5 inches, $160.
Furniture, table, pine, hardwood, oval top, two drop leaves, painted, sausage turned legs, box stretchers, mortised and pegged construction, early 18th century, 30 by 43 ½ inches, $225.
Pottery, jar, Zuni, gourd shape, three applied black geckos, raised heads, white spots, red speckled ground, signed, YN, DS, 6 ½ by 7 inches, $260.
Clothing, trousers, wool, striped, tan, gray, cuffed, label inside waistband, salesman’s sample, Dutchess, circa 1920, 9 ½ inches, pair, $345.
Bell, dinner, silver, embossed figures, animals, masks, etched inside, Old Florentine Bell, Gorham, 5 ¾ inches, $375.
Box, Iroquois, lid, beadwork, multicolor, square, red felt ground, pasteboard, green sateen fabric lining, mid 1800s, 5 by 7 by 6 ½ inches, $1,185.
Map, the Americas, “with the known parts,” cities at top border, people at side borders, engraved, hand coloring, frame, John Speed, 1626, 23 ½ by 28 inches, $2,175.