Q&A on Collecting
Ice was a luxury in Victorian Era
Q: This photo is of a silver tankard that has been in our family for somewhere around 100 years. On the bottom are the words, “Barbour Silver Co. — Quadruple — 50.” What can you tell me about the history and value of my tankard?
A: You have a Victorian tilting ice pitcher with a matching goblet and stand. It was made around 1880 by Barbour Silver Co. in Connecticut. “Quadruple” means your pitcher is silver plate rather than sterling silver. Available ice was a luxury in the Victorian era. Silver plate ice pitchers were a symbol of wealth and status. They are lined with metal, glass or porcelain to help keep ice from melting quickly. Few tilting ice pitchers have survived with their stands and goblets intact.
Similar pitchers that are in excellent condition and not in need of re-silvering are selling in the range of $300 to $600.
Q: Enclosed is a photo of the mark that is on a set of dinnerware that belonged to my grandmother. Each dish is decorated with a white background, pink borders and gold trim. I would like to purchase some more pieces. I contacted a replacement firm, and they weren't able to help me. Do you have any idea of its value and where I might be able to buy additional place settings?
A: The Royal Tettau mark was used by Royal Bayreuth in Bavaria, Germany, during the occupation by the U.S. of the German zone from 1945-49. There are several matching/replacements sites on the Internet. Keep checking for additional ones, as well as at antiques shops. The replacement services usually request a photo, a clear description of the dish and the manufacturer's mark.
A five-piece place setting would probably cost $50 to $75 purchased through a replacement service.
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. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com