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Q&A on Collecting: Smiley is a premium pig

Anne McCollam answers readers' questions about the value of their antiques.
BY Anne McCollam, For The Oklahoman Published: April 29, 2013
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Q: This is a photo of a cookie jar that was given away with a purchase of coffee in the early 1950s. I don't remember the coffee company, but they came door-to-door selling coffee and other kitchen staples. Marked on the bottom are the words “Patent Smiley 60 — Shawnee USA.” He stands about 11 inches tall, is wearing light tan pants, a green scarf and is in perfect condition. Can you tell me anything about my cookie jar and what it is worth?

A: Shawnee Pottery made your cookie jar. They were located in Zanesville, Ohio, from 1937 to 1961. Smiley was the creation of designer, Rudy Ganz, around 1942. There were a variety of matching pieces that included banks, salt-and-pepper shakers, pitchers and his female companion, “Winnie.” They were decorated with several different outfits and designs. According to Shawnee Pottery, your Smiley is wearing butterscotch brown pants. Shawnee Pottery was sold by Sears, Woolworth and Kresge and used by several companies as premiums. Your circa 1950 Smiley would probably be worth $350 to $450.

Q: I have a set of porcelain dinnerware that is about 70 years old. Enclosed is the mark that is seen on each piece. The set is a service for 12 and decorated with gold scrolled bands of multicolored flowers. What can you tell me about my set of dinnerware?

A: Your dinnerware was made sometime between 1945 and 1952 during the Allied occupation of Japan after World War II. The Japanese firm, Meito, made your dinnerware and it was distributed by the Celebrate Company. “Marseilles” is the name of the pattern. Meito produced china for several companies that were sold in the United States. Insurance value for your service for 12 would probably be $900 to $1,500.

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