China's value may depend on pattern

CURIOUS COLLECTOR

September 05, 1993|By Sally Solis-Cohen and Lita Solis-Cohen | Sally Solis-Cohen and Lita Solis-Cohen,Contributing Writers

Q: Is my Red Wing dinnerware decorated with tree branches and blue blossoms collectible? I believe it's about 25 years old.

A: The Red Wing Stoneware Co., established in 1878 in Red Wing, Minn., initially made utilitarian flowerpots, crocks and jugs. In 1935 it began producing dinnerware and dropped "Stoneware" from its name. Red Wing products frequently turn up at flea markets and garage sales and are popular with collectors.

Your circa-1953 "Driftwood" pattern dinnerware in Red Wing's "anniversary" shape "has a very stylized 50s look, and is not among Red Wing's most sought-after patterns," said dealer Ed Stump, of the Raccoon's Tale, 6 High St., Mullica Hill, N.J. 08062, (609) 478-4488. A basic four-piece setting (dinner plate, bread-and-butter plate and cup and saucer) in mint condition could retail for around $15 to $18, according to Mr. Stump. Serving pieces generally sell in the $12 to $20 range, with coffeepots and teapots bringing up to $35 each, depending on condition.

Q: A 28-inch high, two-drawer night stand with lovely tiger-maple veneer has been in our family for generations. How old is it?

A: Your night stand is American, dating from around 1815 to 1820. It was refinished, reducing its value somewhat. Boldly striped tiger-maple veneered pieces like yours generally bring premium prices, according to David Neligan, a furniture specialist at Skinner Inc., 357 Main St., Bolton, Mass. 01740. He estimates that your night stand could fetch around $600 to $800 at auction, about twice as much as a comparable cherry example.

' Solis-Cohen Enterprises

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