Share “Q&A on collecting”

BY ANNE MCCOLLAM Published: March 9, 2009
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Q: These ironstone mugs belonged to my mother. When we visited her, she always offered my husband a cup of coffee. She would get them out and ask him which one he wanted, the one with the saying "Party Guy” or the "Let’s Go Crazy” one. His choice always was "Party Guy.” After she died, we kept the mugs because using them made us remember the good times. Now, my husband gets out the mugs and asks the same question when our daughter-in-law visits. She defers to him and takes the "Let’s Go Crazy” mug; he is still the "Party Guy.” Marked on the bottom are the words: "Designed and Hand Decorated — Papel — Japan.” I would never part with them but would like to know their history.

A: Phil Papel founded Papel Giftware in 1955 in Palm Springs, Calif. The company’s mugs often were decorated with catchy sayings that reflected the times. Many of their wares were made in Korea and Otagiri, Japan.

Based on the sayings on your mugs, they were made in the late 1970s. Recently, Papel vintage mugs have turned up on e-Bay in the range of $10 to $15 each.

Q: I have enclosed the mark on the bottom of my gypsy woman porcelain figurine. She is seated on a wicker bench next to a table with a black and green tablecloth, which is decorated with a pair of scales and a female figure. Before her on the table are a crystal ball and a deck of cards. In mint condition, she is wearing a red dress with a green shawl and a red scarf on her head. The overall height is 6 inches. The letters and number "HN — 2159” are included with the mark. I have owned the figurine for years and would like to know more about it and its value.

A: Located in England, Royal Doulton made your figurine, "The Fortune Teller,” between 1955 and 1967. With her tarot cards and crystal ball, she is going into a trance to foretell a fortune. Leslie Harradine, one of Doulton’s most creative and productive designers, designed it.