Q&A on Collecting: Teapot commemorates Washington's inauguration

Anne McCollam answers readers’ questions about the value of their antiques.
BY ANNE MCCOLLAM, For The Oklahoman Published: June 9, 2014
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Q: I have enclosed a photo of a piece of Wedgwood that I have because I cannot find any information on it. The teapot is dark blue with a matte finish and stands almost 6 inches tall. It is a teapot that commemorates the 150th presidential inauguration of George Washington. There is a white emblem on one side of the United States eagle, and on the other, the ship of explorer Henry Hudson. On the bottom of the teapot are the words "B. Altman & Co. -- Henrik Hudson -- Half Moon -- Washington Inauguration Sesquicentennial -- 1789 1939 -- made in England." It is in mint condition.

Is there any information you can provide?

A: You have a dark blue jasperware teapot that was made by Wedgwood. Josiah Wedgwood founded his pottery in England in 1759. Jasperware is stoneware with a matte finish and was available in blue, pink and green." Their light blue finish is known as "Wedgwood Blue." Henry Hudson was a 16th-century English explorer who made several trips to the New World in search of a route to Asia. On his trip that was sponsored by Dutch investors, he sailed his ship, the Half Moon, up the river that would bear his name, the Hudson River. He traveled as far as Albany, New York. George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the U.S. in 1789 in Federal Hall, in the first national capital, New York City.

In 1986, Wedgwood merged with Waterford Crystal, and it became WWRD. The teapot was part of a set and included a cream pitcher, sugar bowl and a cigarette box. The issuing of the commemorative set corresponded with the 1939 New York World Fair. B. Altman and Co. was a department store in New York.