Q: This picture shows a decorative dish depicting two black children. It is marked "K.P.M." and "Made in Germany." Can you identify the maker and estimate its value?
A: This black memorabilia dish was made by the Krister Porzellan Manufaktur in Waldenberg, Germany, during the early 1900s. It would probably sell for about $75 to $85.
Q: This mark is on the bottom of each piece of a seven-piece toilet set (pitcher, bowl, soap dish, etc). Can you identify the maker and determine the vintage? I would also like to know its value.
A: Your toilet set was made by Knowles, Taylor & Knowles Co. in East Liverpool, Ohio, around the turn of the century. It would probably sell for $700 to $800 in good condition.
By far the best-known company producing fine tableware in the Limoges area of France was Haviland & Co., founded in 1842 by an American, David Haviland. In the beginning, his company simply decorated porcelain made by native French potters. By 1865, he was producing his own porcelain. Most of his wares were marked "Haviland & Co."
In addition to David Haviland, there were dozens of others like Wm. Guerin & Co., Delinieres Co., Charles Ahrenfeldt, J. Pouyat, Tressemanes & Vogt, Martial Redon, A. Laternier, not to mention David's son, Theodore, and his nephew, Charles Field Haviland.
It would be difficult to select one of these as being better in quality and workmanship. If there is any difference in price, it is based on familiarity with the name "Haviland."
There was an enormous quantity of Limoges china imported to the United States between 1880 to 1920. This provides a generous supply of tableware and decorative items for any collector's choice.
We might examine some typical prices of Limoges. We find a chocolate pot marked "Haviland & Co." The price is $135. There is also one marked "J. Pouyat" decorated with red roses listed for $130. Next is one marked "D.& C." (Delinieres Co.) with hand-painted cherries; it is listed at $225. One bearing the logo "T. & V." (Tressemanes & Vogt) decorated with purple grapes is offered at $215.
This is not to suggest that Delinieres is always more valuable than Haviland. The only conclusion that should be drawn is that the higher-priced items were also the most attractively decorated.
There is one situation that might cause some confusion. During World War II, Theodore Haviland set up operations in the United States, so don't be surprised when you encounter Haviland china marked "Made in USA." Item for item, American Haviland is worth about half as much as French Haviland.