Q: Enclosed is a picture of a pine washstand commode. I know it is more than 100 years old, but I would like to have your opinion as to vintage and value.
A: This is a nice, primitive washstand made in the mid-1800s. A dealer would price it at $375 to $400.
Q: The enclosed mark is on the bottom of my Hummel figure of a monk; it is 5 1/2 inches tall. Can you tell me when it was made and what it might sell for?
A: This figurine is called Friar Tuck; it is not a Hummel. It was made by the same company (Goebel) but was not designed by Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel. All genuine Hummels are signed "M. I. Hummel."
Your figurine was made in the mid-20th century and would
probably sell for about $35 to $45.
KPM are the initials of the Konigliche Porzellan Manufaktur Royal Porcelain Factory), which was founded in Berlin under the auspices of Frederick the Great of Prussia in 1752. This factory produced some of the finest porcelain made in Europe.
The earliest pieces were marked with a W, and then a G. From 1760 to 1830, the mark was in the form of a scepter. Also, from 1823 to 1832, the Prussian eagle over K.P.M. was used.
From 1832 to 1847, K.P.M. with a cross, sphere and scepter or with the Prussian eagle appeared on their products. From 1847 to the present, the mark has again been a scepter, sometimes with a seal.
Since K.P.M. was also used by the Krister factory in Waldenberg, Germany, and the Kister company in Schiebe-Alsbach, Germany, caution is required when identifying genuine K.P.M.
During the early years, KPM porcelain had a dense white glaze over a white base. Coloring was brilliant and details were exquisite. As the 18th century ended, the production of complete dinner services increased and the famous KPM plaques were introduced.
From 1852 until the end of World War I, KPM was under the control of the monarchy. Currently, the company is the property of the city of Berlin.
Generally, figurines and plaques are the most eagerly sought items. For example, a 19th-century figure of a man and a woman (9 inches tall) sells for about $800 to $900. A 7-by-5-inch plaque of a cupid made in the mid-1800s sells for $500 to $650.
"Old American Kitchenware" by Louise Lantz (available from Louise Lantz, 5703 Williams Road, Hydes, Md. 21082, $10 postpaid) is a limited-edition reprint of the first and most authoritative book on the subject.
It covers everything from primitive Colonial housewares to those of the early 20th century. Ms. Lantz is the leading authority on