Q&A on collecting
Treasured painted plates
were exported from France
Q: I am enclosing a photo of a French Limoges plate that belonged to my grandparents. Originally, there were two plates, and they were given to them on their wedding day in 1909. I remember the two plates standing in my grandmother's china cabinet. We will always treasure these plates. Upon her death in 1987, my mother and her sister each took a plate. Both plates are in mint condition. Each measures 10 inches in diameter and are decorated with flowers and leaves against a gold background. Marked on the back of the plates are the letters and words “L.S. and S. — Limoges — France.” There is also a paper label with the words “S. Maas.”
I tried to get them appraised in New York City, but I was told I needed someone who dealt in antique plates. Can you tell me something about their background and the value?
A: The letters, “L. S. and S., represent New York importers, Lewis Straus and Sons. They were founded in the mid 1800s and exported porcelain from France to the United States. Most of the porcelain was hand painted and often signed by the decorators. Carefully examine each plate for a signature. Not much is known about S. Maas. They were in business in Limoges, France in the late 1890s and finding a piece with their mark is rare.