Q&A on Collecting: Figural powder boxes evoke memories of time gone by

Anne McCollam answers readers' questions about the value of their antiques.
BY Anne McCollam Published: November 26, 2012
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Q&A on Collecting

Figural powder boxes evoke memories of time gone by

Q: This is a photo of a porcelain powder box that was given to me as a child in the late 1960s or early 1970s. It was part of a relative's collection and still is in perfect condition. There are no manufacturer's marks. I want to pass it along to my daughter and would like to know more about its history and value.

A: You have a figural powder box or jar that was made in the early- to mid-20th century. Just about every dresser top had one along with a mirror, comb, brush, a pin tray, covered trinket dish and perfume bottle. Many were made in the United States, Europe and Japan. Since so many were not marked or marked with paper labels that disappeared, their origin often remains a mystery. What is important is that they are a charming reminder of the past and are collectible. Your powder jar would probably be worth $25 to $50.

Q: This mark is on the bottom of an ironstone platter that has been in our family for as far back as I can remember. My grandmother always kept it in the dining room china cabinet and when my mother inherited, it she kept it on a shelf where we kids couldn't reach. It measures approximately 11 inches long and is in mint condition. It is decorated with a black and white country scene against a white background. I would not part with it for anything and plan to pass it down to my daughter. I would like to know who made it, when, where and its value.