To most, tiles are utilitarian. To some, they’re a sought-after art form.

Collectors particularly prize tiles made by early 20th century art potteries. This Wheatley piece sold for $216 at auction.

Fresh flowers fade quickly. Art pottery tiles, like this one by Wheatley, are made to last.

Fresh flowers fade quickly. Art pottery tiles, like this one by Wheatley, are made to last.

In present-day houses, tile is usually a humble building material, limited to bathroom or kitchen surfaces for its durability and ease of cleaning. To collectors, tiles are an art form; especially if they were made by the art potteries of the early 20th century.

Wheatley Pottery, the maker of this flowered tile that sold for $216 at Soulis Auctions, was one of them. Thomas J. Wheatley started his first pottery, T.J. Wheatley & Co., in 1880, but it closed within a few years. After some time working with Weller Pottery in Zanesville, Ohio, which was at one point the largest art pottery in the world, he tried again. Wheatley Pottery opened in 1903 in Cincinnati. In 1927, the Cambridge Tile Manufacturing Company of Covington, Kentucky, bought Wheatley Pottery. They stayed open until the 1980s.

Q: I have a L&L WMC lamp with two babies and three candle holders. The number 8360 is on the base. What is it worth?

A: Your lamp is made by Loevsky & Loevsky White Metal Castings, which went into business in New Jersey in the 1930s. They made lamps in many earlier styles, art deco, Arts & Crafts, Victorian, etc. Their lamps often had glass shades in a matching period style; for example, a Tiffany-style, stained-glass shade for an art nouveau base; or a frosted or painted glass globe and dangling prisms for a Victorian-style lamp. The number on the base of your lamp is probably a model number. We have not found that specific model, but similar lamps by the same company have sold for about $200 to $300.

Q: I have four Old Willow Myott teacup plates. On the bottom of the plates the following is written: “Old Willow Myott Made in Staffordshire England.” What are you able to tell me about the plates and their maker? Can you tell me when they might have been made? Are they worth anything? If so, who do you think might buy them?

A: Myott is one of the many potteries from the famous Staffordshire district of England. The Myott family purchased a pottery firm in 1898. Brothers Ashley and Sydney Myott opened their own factory in 1902. The company was incorporated as Myott, Son & Co. in 1942 and was bought by Interpace Corporation in 1969. They made dishes in hundreds of patterns. Old Willow is based on the willow pattern that has been made since 1780. It was inspired by Chinese porcelains.

Willow may be the most copied pattern in the world; pottery and porcelain factories throughout Europe, Asia and America have made their own versions. Willow pattern plates can sell for as little as $2 each to hundreds of dollars, depending on their age, condition, size and maker. Sets of willow plates made in Staffordshire generally sell for about $50-$150. Cup plates like yours are an unusual size, which could either mean that there is less interest in them or make them more valuable to interested buyers. There are collectors’ clubs for the willow pattern (International Willow Collectors Club, willowcollectors.org), Myott (Myott Collectors, myottcollectorsclub.com) and Staffordshire dishes (Transferware Collectors Club, transferwarecollectorsclub.org). They may have additional information or be able to connect you with interested buyers. If you want to sell your plates, you may also want to contact a pattern-matching service like Replacements, Classic-Replacements or Missing Pieces. They sell individual dishes to replace missing or broken ones, and they may be interested in buying yours.

Q: My husband collected a series of gold-plated baseball cards from Danbury Mint a while back. He is downsizing and trying to sell these cards. To date, we have found no one who is interested. We have contacted Danbury Mint to see if we can find a value for the cards he has and they have not been helpful. Could you please offer some guidance as to whom we should contact? We have tried local sporting goods companies and some auction houses.

A: Danbury Mint made gold-plated baseball cards from 1996 to 2003. They released a new collection each year. The cards are made of cardstock with a very thin layer of gold. Sets of 50 cards bound in an album sell for about $30 to $100 at auctions and resale sites like eBay. The website Sportlots.com values most of the individual cards at about $2 each. Items like these that are marketed as “limited edition” or “collector’s edition” usually have relatively low values on the secondary market. Many people buy and save them with the intent to resell, so the collectibles market gets flooded. There is little value to the gold in the cards because such a small amount is used.

TIP: Don’t wrap things for storage in newspapers. The ink can yellow paper, fabrics and ceramics.

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.

Fulper Pottery, dispenser, barrel shape, script lettering, “Ice Water,” blue and white, narrow horizontal stripes, No. 3, stamped mark, 12½ inches, $50.

Toy, Modern Farm Set, tin lithograph barn, plastic accessories, fence, animals, tractor, box, Louis Marx, $100.

Firefighting, helmet, white, painted, metal, leather placard, “Asst Chief,” “MFD,” interior label, Cairns & Brother, size 7½, 14 inches, $150.

Royal Copenhagen, tureen, lid, Triton, Konkylie, conch shell shape, brown swirled ridges, asymmetrical handles, undertray, 16 inches, $385.

Waterford, vase, Cliffs of Moher, flared, pedestal base, ring, round foot, 13 by 7½ inches, $420.

Silver-Continental, bowl, art deco, stylized leaves and seeds, pierced, gilt interior, glass insert, hallmarks, Steyl, 9 by 3½ inches, $550.

Cabinet, corner, Provincial, pine, painted, green, multicolor flower cluster, light blue trim, door, interior shelf, toupie feet, European, circa 1900, 30½ by 24½ inches, $560.

Pottery, vase, Santa Clara, blackware, tapered neck, etched figures, signed, Nancy Youngblood, 1980, 2 inches, $755.

Coin operated, trade stimulator, “Drop A Cent In The Slot,” pin field, cigar rewards, oak case, canted sides, early 1900s, 18¼ by 17½ inches, $840.

Radio, Emerson, FC-400, Aristocrat, Catalin case, onyx, wrap-around grille, cream and brown, spring-loaded handle, Norman Bel Geddes, 8 by 11 by 5¼ inches, $1,020.

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