Q&A on Collecting
Dinnerware is a bohemian rhapsody
Q: This is a photo of a service for six set of porcelain. It was given to my grandmother by her sister around 1929 and then passed along to me. The set includes serving platters, bowls, egg cups, a cream pitcher and a sugar bowl. Each dish is decorated with stylized large pink flowers and small blue ones and green leaves. The edges and handles are embellished with gold. Most pieces are marked with a lion inside a heart and the words “Bohemia — Czecho-Slovakia.” A few of the small dishes are marked simply “Germany” and the cream pitcher includes the word “Donatello.”
I very much appreciate your time looking at my set and greatly anticipate your possible response.
A: Your dinnerware was made by Bohemia Ceramic Works. They produced porcelain in Bohemia from 1921 to 1945. Actually, the mark represents a lion inside a scrolled letter “B.” They used the mark you provided from 1941 to 1945. The country, Czecho-Slovakia, existed from 1918 to 1945. From 1939 to 1945 it was part of Nazi Germany. In 1993, it became two separate countries, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. “Donatello” is the name of the pattern. Because a few of the pieces are marked “Germany” your set may not be as old as 1929. The value of your set would probably be $500 to $800.
Q: When my mother-in-law passed away several years ago, she left me several sets of china. One is a set of small plates. This mark is on the back of each piece. Each is decorated with a different scene of a castle and trees overlooking a lake. The pattern is red against a white background.
Just in case my daughter would someday be interested in this set, I would like to know their history, age and value.
A: Johnson Brothers made your set of plates in Staffordshire, England. Alfred, Henry, and Frederick Johnson founded their earthenware and ironstone factory in 1883. In 1968, the company became part of the Wedgwood Group. “Castle on the Lake” is the name of your pattern. Although the pattern was made in red, it was also available in blue, brown and multi-colors. Your plates would probably be worth $20 to $30 each.
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.