Fancy teapot poured poorly Antiques: Made to resemble flora, fauna and people, these 19th-century beverage containers can be worth a lot of money.

December 01, 1996|By Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel | Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel,KING FEATURES SYNDICATE

Fancy teapots shaped like humans, animals, furniture or houses are not a 1990s idea. Many 19th-century teapots were made to resemble camels, monkeys, flowers or vegetables.

Probably the most famous figural teapot is the "Aesthetic" teapot made in 1882. The clever, two-sided pot depicts a man on one side, a woman on the other. It was inspired by the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta "Patience."

The teapot, made by the Royal Worcester pottery in England, is difficult to clean. The handle and spout made pouring tea difficult. The head was the removable cover, and the tea was poured from a hole in the figure's hand.

It is difficult to understand what was meant by the quote printed on the bottom of the pot: "Fearful consequences -- of natural selection and evolution of living up to one's teapot."

nTC The Royal Worcester teapot is worth thousands of dollars.

I purchased a small dish at a flea market in Roanoke, Va. It is marked "Greenwood China, Trenton, New Jersey." When I went home to Trenton, I couldn't find any information on it. What can you tell me?

Greenwood China was organized in 1868. The name was first impressed on ironstone or white granite in 1886. The company used a mark showing the New Jersey coat of arms.

At the turn of the century, the company was making dinner sets, odd dishes and hotel ware.

Greenwood China and the Greenwood Pottery Co. had separate addresses for years. However, their names appeared together in advertisements for china.

Greenwood China/The Greenwood Pottery Co. went out of business in 1933.

We just moved into an old house and changed one first-floor room into a laundry. Can you suggest how to decorate the room with antiques to match the rest of the house?

Utility-laundry rooms can be filled with collectibles that show how times have changed since a laundress spent Mondays doing the wash.

Hang old washboards with wooden rollers or scrubbing surfaces of glass. Unusual boxes of starch, bluing, soap flakes, "laundry tablets" or even old bars of soap can decorate a shelf.

From about 1870 to the 1920s, laundry products were sold with the promise to kill germs, keep hands from peeling and make life easier. Trade cards and advertisements of the day picture how easy it is to soak, scrub, wash and iron using the newest products.

Irons -- from the flatirons of the 19th century to the early electric irons -- make fine display pieces.

Many laundry collectibles can be found at yard sales and house sales.

I collect Cambridge Glass Draped Lady and Bashful Charlotte flower frogs. I've heard they're being reproduced. True?

The Cambridge Glass Co. made glass in Cambridge, Ohio, from 1901 to 1954. It reopened for a short time but closed again in 1958. Since then, many of the company's molds have been bought by other glass manufacturers.

Items in the Bashful Charlotte pattern have been reproduced since 1985. It's likely that the Draped Lady is also being made again. New items should be marked with the new maker's name. Be sure that you're buying from a reputable dealer.

Bashful Charlotte flower frogs sell for as much as $550. Draped Lady flower frogs bring as much as $240.

The Kovels welcome letters and answer as many as possible through the column. Write to Kovels, The Sun, King Features Syndicate Inc., 235 E. 45th St., New York, N.Y. 10017.

Pub Date: 12/01/96

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