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Kovels Antiques: Decorative stoneware was popular in 19th century New England
Kovels Antiques

Kovels Antiques: Decorative stoneware was popular in 19th century New England

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Kovels Antiques

Many 19th century potteries and amateur artists made and decorated stoneware figures. This handmade ram sold at Conestoga Auctions for $144.

Antique stoneware was often used in small local potteries in 19th century New England. They made useful objects in molds and fanciful figurines and vases that could be decorated by hand.

Bristol-slip glaze was popular because it was scratch-resistant and added color. One amateur artist made a resting ram to be used as a doorstop. The 9-inch hand-molded animal sold for $144, probably because it was missing part of his horn and an ear.

Q: I was left a Lane Cedar Chest that has an aroma tightness feature. The size of the chest is 17½ inches high, 19 inches deep and 44 inches wide. The inside of the chest is in excellent condition, but the outside does have some wear on it. I’m not sure if it’s worth holding on to. Is it worth anything?

A: Lane started in 1912 as the Standard Red Cedar Chest Company in Altavista, Va. John Lane was president and his son, Ed, was vice president and general manager. It became The Lane Company in 1922.

The company was known for its cedar chests, which were often used as “hope chests” by brides-to-be. Lane began making occasional tables in 1951 and expanded to include lines of bedroom, living room and dining room furniture in the 1960s and ‘70s. Today, Lane is owned by United Furniture Industries.

You can find the age of your Lane chest by looking for the serial number on the bottom. If you read the number backward, you will find the production date. For example, serial number 753150 indicates the chest was produced on 05/13/57. An extra digit at the end of the serial number is the plant number.

Lane cedar chests made before 1987 have the old-style locks that can latch shut and trap a child inside. Those locks should be removed or replaced. Value depends on style and condition. Some Lane chests sell for less than $50, others for over $100.

Q: I have a piece of Weller pottery that was my grandfather’s. It’s stamped “Weller” on the base. He was a barber and used this piece to hold used towels in the barber shop. I’m not looking to sell, but I would like to know more about the piece. I’ve seen some pieces with a similar glaze (dark green and burgundy) but haven’t been able to find anything else the same shape or size.

A: Samuel A. Weller started a pottery in Fultonham, Ohio, in 1872. The pottery moved to Zanesville, Ohio, in 1882. By 1915, it was the largest art pottery in the world. Hundreds of lines of pottery were made. Weller’s prestige lines were discontinued around 1920. Commercial lines were made until the pottery closed in 1948.

Some old Weller pottery sells for thousands of dollars. Pieces made in the 1920s and later are more affordable. It’s impossible to do a good appraisal if you can’t handle the piece. You should take it to someone nearby who sells antique pottery or send an email with a picture to

Q: I want to sell a vintage lamp made by H.A. Best Lamp Company of Chicago. It has a bronze base and domed glass shade. What is its value?

A: Harry Arthur Best started the H.A. Best Lamp Company around 1915. The company made lamps in art nouveau and arts and crafts styles. It was in business until about 1935. The value of your lamp depends on the type of shade. Some H.A. Best Company lamps with caramel glass shades have sold for $250 to $850.

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.

Royal Doulton, Bunnykins figurine, Halloween, DB 132, mouse popping out of jack-o’-lantern, stem end on head, brown mouse, orange pumpkin with yellow stripes, Graham Tongue, 1993-97, 3¼ inches, $60.

Textile, Christopher Columbus, holding globe with America printed on it, 1492-1892, F.N. and crosses on sides, blue, red and yellow on white ground, World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893, gilt frame, 34¾-by-24¾ inches, $135.

Purse, handbag, Judith Leiber, taupe ostrich, two handles, gold tone clasp, interior compartments, coin pouch, mirror, metal tag with Judith Leiber New York logo, 8-by-11-by-3½ inches, $275.

Peking glass snuff bottle, red seaweed on frosted and crackled ground, bronze stopper cap with ropework trim, 2¾-by-1½ inches, $300.

Wood carving, House Bird, black alder wood, smooth finish, two steel wire legs, Charles and Ray Eames, original Vitra Design Museum box, 8-by-11-by-3¼ inches, $460.

Furniture, chair, Windsor, bow back, nine spindles plus two side spindles, continuous arm, bamboo turned legs, black paint, Pennsylvania, c. 1820, 35 inches, $550.

Rookwood vase, forest scene, vellum glaze, slightly tapered form, flared and rolled rim, marked, Frederick Rothenbusch, 1920, 7¾ inches, $685.

Jewelry, pin, grasshopper playing lute, figural, 18K yellow gold, enamel details, ruby eyes, Italy, 1970s, 2-by-1¼ inches, $935.

Furniture, table, coffee, two-piece wood base supporting glass top with three curved sides, midcentury modern, Isamu Noguchi for Herman Miller, c. 1950, 16-by-50-by-36 inches, $1,500.

Pottery, bowl, blue stylized figures connected at hands and feet, textured brown glaze, steep sides, short foot, marked, Edwin and Mary Scheier, New Hampshire, 8¼-by-7¼ inches, $1,750.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. By sending a letter with a question and a picture, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The amount of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, Fla. 32803.


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