Q: I have a 4-inch pitcher with the Meissen crossed-swords mark. The bottom tip of the handle is missing.
Can you tell me how much this is worth?
A: This could be Meissen's "Onion" pattern, possibly made in the early 1800s. It might sell for $225 to $235 in good condition. It is impossible to assess the diminished value due to damage.
Since there is so much fake Meissen in existence, you should take this to a museum for authentication.
Q: I have a teapot decorated with a multicolored floral design. It is 8 inches high and 6 inches in diameter.
Please tell me whatever you can about it.
A: This was made by Homer Laughlin in East Liverpool, Ohio, during the early 1900s. It would probably sell for $35 to $45.
In 1895, the board of trustees at Newcomb College in New Orleans authorized a course in ceramics. Joseph Meyer was hired to mold the clay and Mary Sheerer taught the young lady students how to decorate pottery.
For 15 years, the design and quality of the work were controlled by Mr. Meyer and Ms. Sheerer. Each piece bore the mark of Newcomb College and the initials of the decorator. Every piece was original and never duplicated.
In 1910, Paul Cox was hired to improve the quality of the clay. He built a new mechanized kiln and completely modernized the procedure.
An early mark was a picture of a vase with the initials, "N. C.," or a monogram, "N. C.," or simply "Newcomb College."
Some pieces were marked with paper labels; prices also were on paper labels.
Newcomb Pottery received numerous awards at several world fairs and many exhibitions.
Labeled and signed Newcomb Pottery pieces range from the high hundreds to more than $5,000. A 4-inch vase decorated with trees hung with Spanish moss, signed "AFS" (Anna Frances Simpson -- 1919), is listed at $700.
A 6 1/2 -inch vase decorated with a jewel-like flower, marked "AR" (Amelie Roman -- 1903) sold for more than $8,000.
Another 8 1/2 -inch vase with a woodland scene, also signed by Anna Frances Simpson, sold for more than $1,500.
A 12-inch vase depicting the moon shining through Spanish moss, signed with the monogram "SI" (Sadie Irvine -- 1922), sold for more than $2,000.
Topping the list, a 6 1/2 -inch vase signed "JM" and "AR" (modeled by Juanita Mauras and decorated by Amelie Roman -- 1903) is listed at more than $8,000.
After 50 years of producing exquisite art pottery, Newcomb Pottery terminated production in 1945.
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.