Q: I have a complete set of a children's china tea service that has been passed down in the family for generations. Enclosed is the mark on the back of each dish. There are 16 pieces in the set, and they are in perfect condition. The dishes are decorated with transfer print scenes of Sun Bonnet Babies and trimmed in gold. The babies are performing household chores that include washing clothes, hanging them outside on a clothesline to dry and ironing. I would like to know more about their history.
A: Dishes featuring the busy Sun Bonnet Babies are very popular with collectors. The figures are charming and radiate cheerful enthusiasm that is irresistible. The mark you enclosed was used by Warner-Keffer China Company. They were founded in 1908 and made semi-porcelain in East Liverpool, Ohio. The babies' faces were covered with puffy bonnets, and several potteries in the United States and Europe decorated their ware with the happy images. By 1912, Warner-Keffer China Company was out of business. Your circa 1908 tea set would probably be worth $175 to $275.
Address 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.