Q: I have enclosed a photo of a porcelain figural group my mother passed down to me. It has been in the family for years. On the side of the piece there is a crown above the letter "N," and it is in perfect condition. It stands about 9 inches tall and 5 inches wide. My mother passed away when she was young, and I have no information on its maker, vintage or value. My daughter is getting married, and I would like to pass it along to her. I would be so happy to tell her all about it, but I don't know where to start.
A: You have a Capodimonte style figural group. It is called "the Winemakers." Capodimonte porcelain was made by the Royal Factory of Capodimonte that was established by Italy's King Charles VIII in 1759. Early pieces were not always marked. The crown above the letter "N" was first used in the late 1700s. The letter "N" represents the city of Naples, Italy. The Royal Factory closed around 1800. In the early 1900s, several porcelain factories in Italy and Germany began making porcelain in the Capodimonte style and using the crown and "N" mark.
Your figural group was made in the early 20th century and would probably be worth $225 to $500.
Q: This mark is on a china platter with a matching cream pitcher and sugar bowl that I have. It is all that is left of my grandmother's set of dishes. I can remember as a child having Sunday dinner at my grandparents' home and the table always being set with these dishes. They are decorated with garlands of blue and pink flowers against a white background; they all have scalloped edges and are trimmed in gold.
What information can you provide about the dishes' history?
A: Pope Gosser China Co. made your dishes in the 1950s. The pattern is "Blue Belle." The company was founded in Coshocton, Ohio, in 1903. After the Great Depression, it merged with several other porcelain factories. In 1958, it closed its operations.
Your three pieces can be found selling in antiques shops for $25 to $50.
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.