Q&A on collecting
Porcelain dishes are ‘berry' nice
Q: Enclosed is a photo of a delicate berry dish set that was given to my husband, who is now 88 years old, by his grandmother many years ago. The large bowl measures over nine inches in diameter, and the four individual bowls are more than five inches in diameter. The set is decorated with white flowers, pale yellow soft orange flowers and green leaves. The scalloped edges are green with gold trim, and the set is in perfect condition. Marked on the back of each dish are a crown and a crest and the word “Bavaria.” They all have the number “1796,” and the master dish has the number “69,” and the individual ones have the number “58.” Thank you for whatever information you can give me.
A: Bavaria was the location of many porcelain factories in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A great deal of the factories included their name with their trademarks. Unfortunately some didn't and that makes it sometimes impossible to identify the maker. Porcelain berry sets included a master bowl and usually had four to six individual bowls. Most were decorated with transfer print designs rather than hand painted. “1796” refers to the set design and “69” indicates that it is the design of the master bowl, and “58” shows the dish is an individual bowl.
Your berry bowl set was made around 1900 and would probably be worth $125 to $150.
Q: I have never seen any appraisals of clothing in your column, but if you can, I would like to know about the black cashmere cardigan sweater I received for Christmas 1959. It has beading around the neck and halfway down the front. I have enclosed a copy of the original label that is still in the sweater. I have never worn it, so it is in mint condition. I hope you can tell if my sweater has any value.
A: Elsa Schiaparelli was born in Italy in 1890. She became one of the world's most famous fashion designers in the 20th century. French designer, Coco Chanel, was one of her competitors. Many of Schiaparelli's designs were inspired by surrealistic artists, including Salvador Dali, Man Ray and Giacometti.
She created both clothing and jewelry and had several perfume lines. Schiaparelli had fashion houses in Paris and New York. She died in 1973.
Her vintage sweaters are popular, and yours would probably fetch anywhere from $125 to $350.
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. Because of the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters.