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Dinnerware Is Vintage American Beauty

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Q: Please help me out. I have sent you a photo of a coffee pot, a plate, and salt and pepper shakers. All I know is my mother got this when I was very young. Each piece is marked "American Beauty — Stetson." They are in mint condition, and I plan to hand the set down to my daughter.

I would like to have more information on the maker, vintage and value of my set.

Q: Stetson China Company began as a decorating and distributing firm in 1919. It was a family business, and they were located in Chicago, Illinois. In 1946, Joseph Stetson purchased the Illinois China Company that was located in Lincoln, Illinois, and the name became Stetson China Company. Rather than using decals, they outlined designs and then finished it by hand painting. Many of their wares were sold in department stores, and some were made as premiums for the Procter and Gamble Company. They also made earthenware that was decorated with decals and used as premiums for grocery stores.

"American Beauty" is the name of the pattern of your set, which is trimmed in 22 karat gold. It was a very popular line and included dinnerware, coffee pots, salt and pepper shakers, grease pots and syrup pitchers. They couldn't compete with less expensive imports, as did many other china factories.

They closed in 1966. An insurance value for your 1940s - 1950s set would probably be $350 to $500.

Q: This mark is on the bottom of a pottery vase that I have. The vase stands a little over 5 inches, is decorated with a matte blue glaze and has handles. Around the widest part of the vase are light blue flowers and green leaves with intertwining vines.

Anything you can tell me about my vase will be greatly appreciated.

A: Julius B. Dressler made your vase around 1910. They made porcelain and earthenware in Biela, Bohemia, from 1900 to 1945. Much of Dressler's work was influenced by the Art Nouveau and the Secessionist movements. It can be recognized by curvilinear lines and scrolling flowers and vines inspired by nature. Biela is now part of the Czech Republic. Similar Dressler vases are selling in the range of $300 to $500.

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

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