Q: Enclosed is a photo of an antique wicker chair that I have. On the back of the chair is a metal tag with the words "J. B. Van Sciver Co." We think the chair has been in our family since the 1920s or early 1930s, and it is in amazingly good condition.
What can you tell us about its maker, age and value?
A: Joseph Bishop Van Sciver, a Dutch American, founded his furniture company in 1881 in Camden, New Jersey. He began with a small shop that he soon outgrew. He expanded into a larger factory, added storage warehouses and opened showrooms in several Pennsylvania cities. He soon welcomed his sons into his successful business. The Van Scivers had a fleet of delivery wagons that delivered furniture to Pennsylvania and South Jersey. They made a variety of styles, from contemporary to colonial. By the early 1960s, the company experienced a financial decline, and it finally closed in 1984.
Your wicker chair would probably be worth $100 to $150.
Q: I have drawn the mark that is on the bottom of my pitcher. I'm not sure I have the correct spelling. It has been in my family since my grandmother's time or earlier. It is approximately 14 inches tall, and the base is 7 inches wide. My mother said the portrait painted on it is a Native American chief.
Is my pitcher a valuable piece, or does it only have sentimental value?
A: You have a Rozane tankard made by Roseville Pottery Company. George Young founded Roseville Pottery Company in Roseville, Ohio, in 1892. The pottery produced utilitarian ware and quickly outgrew the factory. In 1998, Young moved his operations to a larger facility in Zanesville, Ohio. Rookwood Pottery Company and Weller Pottery Company were successfully producing innovative art pottery. Young, not one to pass an opportunity to grow, made the decision to develop an art pottery line. In 1900 he introduced Rozane ware that was designed to seriously compete with Rookwood and Weller. Rozane's name combined the first two letters of Roseville and first four letters of Zanesville, thus Rozane. Rozane pieces were decorated with animals, Native American portraits, nature and portraits. Most glazes were dark and finished with high-gloss glazes. From around 1900 to 1924, the Rozane line included Royal, Mongol, Egypto, Mara and Woodland. Many pieces are signed by the artist/decorator. The number included with your mark "855" is a tankard shape/model number. The tankard shape was decorated with several different motifs.
Your tankard was made around 1914. The value seen on the internet covers a huge range, from $300 to $950.
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.