Court Cupboards First Seen in Tudor England

By Anne McCollam

September 20, 2019 4 min read

Q: This is a photo of an antique cupboard that is part of a complete dining room set. The set includes the cupboard, a dining table with leaves, a sideboard, six chairs and two chairs with arms. It is in excellent condition. It belonged to our grandparents in the early 1900s and has been passed down through our family. We plan to give the set to the next generation and would like to know more about its history and insurance value.

A: You have a Colonial Revival court cupboard. Many manufacturers loosely borrowed from early American styles. They choose from a plethora of designs that included William and Mary, Jacobean, Tudor, Elizabethan, Queen Anne, Chippendale, Hepplewhite, Duncan Phyfe and Sheraton. Court cupboards were first seen in Tudor England homes and halls in the 16th century. "Court" is the Norman word for "short." Court cupboards were used to store cups, vessels, plates and dining room accessories. The Colonial Revival movement swept the country and peaked in the 1920s and 1930s. The geometric design of your cupboard and the barley twist ports on the top portion were inspired by the Jacobean period of furniture. It was made around 1920, and the wood appears to be walnut.

There is a diminished interest in Colonial Revival furniture. You might want to insure the set for $1,500 to $2,500.

Q: Enclosed is the mark that is on the bottom of a set of china we received at least 35 years ago. The word "Germany" is also included with the mark. There are eight place settings, and all are in perfect condition. We also have serving pieces that include vegetable dishes, sauce dishes, platters, a gravy boat, a butter dish, a covered vegetable dish, a sugar bowl and a cream pitcher. They are all decorated with pastel flowers and vines against a white background.

We are wondering what its value might be and if it is worth keeping in the family. Any information you can provide about our dinner set will be appreciated.

A: Rosenthal Co. made your set of dinnerware in Germany around 1953. Philipp Rosenthal found his firm in 1879 in Selb, Bavaria. It was a family business and produced porcelain that was exported to Europe and the United States. Just prior to World War II, the Nazis — after learning that Rosenthal, though Catholic, was of Jewish heritage — ousted him and his family and took over the factory. After the war, son Philip surfaced and gained control of the business. Today, the firm is owned and operated by the Sambonet Paderno Group.

There was a similar set offered for sale on the internet at $500.

 Colonial Revival period peaked in the 1920s and 1930s.
Colonial Revival period peaked in the 1920s and 1930s.
 Philipp Rosenthal founded his firm in Selb, Bavaria.
Philipp Rosenthal founded his firm in Selb, Bavaria.

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

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