Q&A on collecting
Heirloom is signed in bronze
Q: I have enclosed a photo of a bronze covered dish that I inherited from my grandmother. It has a verdigris patina and is in mint condition. It is signed with an “S” in a circle and the name “Carl Sorensen” written in script. It is approximately five inches in diameter and in excellent condition.
I don't know anything about my heirloom and would hope you can tell me something about its history, vintage and value.
A: Carl Sorensen produced his hand-hammered metalwork in bronze and copper in the early 1900s. His verdigris metalwork was inspired by the arts and crafts era. There is not much information available on his background, but it is thought that he worked for both Roycroft and Tiffany.
Your covered dish was made sometime between 1900 and 1920. Similar pieces can be found selling in the range of $125 to $250.
Q: I took a photo of the mark that is on a set of dishes that I have. The set has 70 to 80 dishes and includes serving pieces, a teapot and a gravy bowl. They are decorated with multicolored flowers on the borders and in the center along with green bands and gold trim on the edges. I purchased this set at auction for $25 years ago. They are beautiful and a treasure to me. I have been trying to find out more about them and just haven't had any luck. Would you please give me a “ballpark” value of my set?
A: William Harry Grindley founded his company in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, England, in 1881. They made ironstone and earthenware, including flow-blue ware. Most of their wares were produced for exporting to the United States. The numbers “737554 — 737555” are British Government registry numbers that show your dishes were made around 1928. “Windsor Ivory” is the basic shape of the dishes and “The Katherine” is the name of the pattern. After several name changes and different owners, Grindley and Company went into receivership and was taken over by Woodlands Pottery in 1991.
Your set of dinnerware would probably be worth $250 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.