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Antique or Junque: Oak Bookshelf Has No Maker's Mark

Anne Mccollam on

Q: This is a photo of a small antique oak bookshelf. The two shelves are open, and the top shelf is slanted. It stands about 27 inches tall, 24 inches wide and 10 inches deep and is in excellent condition. There is no manufacturer's mark. My husband bought at an antiques shop 30 years ago for his home office. We are moving to a retirement community and have to decide what to keep and what to sell or give away.

Anything you can tell me about the maker, vintage and value will be greatly appreciated.

A: Without a manufacturer's mark or label, it can be impossible to identify the maker. Many similar oak pieces were made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Your book shelf was made around 1900 and would probably be worth $175 to $275.

Q: This mark is on the bottom of an antique semivitreous porcelain wash bowl and pitcher set. Both pieces are decorated with pastel flowers against a white background. The set was given to me at least 40 years ago and is still in perfect condition. Both pieces have no cracks, chips or crazing.

I hope you can provide information on the history and value of my set.

A: Your semivitreous porcelain wash set was made by Knowles, Taylor and Knowles in East Liverpool, Ohio. The factory was founded by Isaac Watts Knowles, John N. Taylor and Homer S. Knowles in 1870. They were all related. John N. Taylor was Isaac's son-in-law, and Homer was Isaac's son. They produced a variety of wares that included Yellow ware, semivitreous, ironstone, Lotus ware, hotel ware, railroad ware and steamship ware. Semivitreous porcelain will absorb around 3% to 7% moisture. Their Lotus ware was of exceptional quality. It was lightweight and translucent and was created to compete with Belleek China made in Ireland. Wash bowl and pitcher sets often include small pitchers, toothbrush holders, soap dishes, shaving mugs and covered chamber pots.


Your wash bowl and pitcher set was made around 1900 and would probably be worth $75 to $175.


Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com


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