Q: Attached is a picture of a German stein that looks like the Prussian statesman, Bismarck. It is marked Musterschutz. Please provide whatever information you can.
A: You are right; this depicts Prince Karl Otto von Bismarck. The maker is unknown; musterschutz means about the same as "copyrighted." Your stein would probably sell for about $500 to $600.
Q: The attached mark is on the bottom of my Hummel figurine No. 87 of a little boy carrying a beer stein and an armful of radishes. Can you date and evaluate it for me?
A: This one is called "For Father." The "High Bee" mark indicates that it was made in 1957. If the radish is light tan, the value is about $200; if it is red, the value is about $800.
John Doulton and John Watts went in the pottery business iin 1854, Watts retired and the firm became Doulton & Co. Until 1887, the company was located in Lambeth, England. At that time, it acquired another company in Burslem, England.
In 1901 the firm received authorization to use the trade name of Royal Doulton. It is this era that we will explore.
In 1913, Doulton produced a series of small porcelain figurines. The first one, HN-1, was the figure of a young girl in a white nightshirt and titled "Darling." This was produced with that designation for 15 years and sells today for at least $1,500. An updated version, HN-1985, is in production and sells for less than $100.
In 1933, a series of character jugs was introduced; the first, D-5327, was called "John Barleycorn." It was produced with that design until 1960. A good example brings at least $200.
In 1939, Toby jugs were introduced. While character jugs were just the human head, Toby jugs were full figures. One of the first series was a short, squat figure of a man holding a cup and a pipe. It was produced from 1939 to 1960 and sells for about $400. The number is D-6107 and the title is "Best Is None Too Good." "Falstaff," D-6063, was introduced at the same time; still in production, it sells for less than $100.
Finally, there is series ware. Typical of these was Dickens' ware, which was decorated with characters from various tales by Charles Dickens. These were introduced in 1908, and each bears the number D-6327. Examples are the Oliver Twist mug at $300, the Mr. Pickwick pitcher at $150, the Sam Weller plate at $100 and the singing monk vase at $500.
There are a few other categories, but these are the ones most likely to be encountered.
Send your questions about antiques with picture(s), a detailed description, a stamped, self-addressed envelope and $1 per item to James G. McCollam, P.O. Box 1087, Notre Dame, Ind. 46556. All questions will be answered; published pictures cannot be returned. Mr. McCollam is a member of the Antique Appraisers Association of America.