Victorian cylinder-front secretary in good condition could be worth $2,000+


October 27, 1991|By James G. McCollam | James G. McCollam,Copley News Service

Q: I have a beautiful desk or secretary. It appears to be made of walnut. Can you give me any idea when it was made and what it would sell for?

A: You have a Victorian cylinder-front secretary made in the late 1800s. It is a choice collectible and would probably sell for $2,000 to $2,500 in good condition.

Q: A pitcher I have It is 11 inches high. It is decorated with a woman and doves. It has brown color tones at the base and top.

Can you give me any information about its origin and its value?

A: Your pitcher was made by the Ceramic Art Co. in Trenton, N.J., between 1900 and 1905. It would probably sell for $400 to $500.


Early in the 1870s, Samuel A. Weller started making clay flowerpots decorated with house paint, which he sold door to door in Zanesville, Ohio.

In 1894, he introduced pottery that featured underglaze decoration on a blended brown background. It was marked "Lonhuda." This was followed by a similar but more brittle pottery marked "Louwelsa."

These were followed by "Turado" in 1898. It featured a dark background with a lacy decoration in light colors.

In 1900, he introduced a series decorated with characters from Charles Dickens, naturally called "Dickens Ware."

In the first decade of the 20th century, he produced a similar ware with a high-gloss brown glaze similar to Louwelsa. This was sometimes marked "Aurelian."

Weller brought Jacques Sicard from France in 1902 to produce a beautiful metallic-luster ware. This was made for only five years, and Sicard never divulged his secret formula. This was marked "Sicardo-Weller."

The prices below are relative and do not apply to specific items.

*"Londuha," 11-inch vase decorated with white roses -- $175 to $200.

*"Louwelsa," 10-inch jardiniere, ruffled rim, decorated with flowers -- $365 to $385.

*"Turado," 5-inch vase with blue, pink and black pansies -- $125 to $135.

*"Dickens Ware," 10-inch jardiniere, pipe-smoking Dickens character -- $400 to $500.

*"Aurelian," 13-inch vase with floral decoration -- $400 to $500.

*"Sicardo-Weller," 4-inch-high by 6-inch-diameter vase, honeysuckle design -- $800 to $900.

Book review: Relics of kitchens past are eagerly sought by collectors and decorators for "country accents" throughout the home. "Kitchen Collectibles," by Ellen M. Plante (Wallace-Homestead imprint of the Chilton Book Co.), is an illustrated price guide. It presents valuable information on an array of kitchen-related items from the mid-18th century through the early 20th century with more than 300 photographs.

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.

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