Q: This is a photo of an antique glass vase that I inherited. It stands about 6 inches tall, is decorated with a swirl pattern and is in perfect condition. It has a ruffled white edge and a ground pontil. There is no label or mark that would identify the maker.
Anything you can tell me about my vase will be greatly appreciated.
A: You have a cranberry glass vase that was blown into a mold. Cranberry glass has been around since the Roman Empire. The craft and techniques of making cranberry glass became lost over the years and didn't surface until the 17th century. By the Victorian Era, popularity soared, first in Europe and then in the United States. A solution of gold and chlorine added to molten amber glass gives the glass the cranberry color. The more gold that is added, the richer and darker the finished color becomes. Cranberry glass is blown, mold blown or pressed. To produce a mold-blown piece, a glassblower places the mold on the ground and uses a long blowpipe to blow the molten glass into the shape. Cranberry glass examples include water sets, vases, cologne bottles, rose bowls, cruets and brides' baskets.
Your vase was made around 1900 and would probably be worth $125 to $150.
Q: This mark is black and located on the bottom of a small porcelain figure of a female child. She is wearing a yellow dress and standing on a white scrolled base. The overall height is 5 inches, and it is in perfect condition. It belonged to my mother-in-law, and we don't know anything about its history. We hope you can tell us something about the maker, age and value of our family treasure.
A: Karl Ens Porcelain Factory made your figurine. It began business in 1899 in Thuringia, Germany. Ens produced high-quality porcelain figurines that included animals, birds, children and dancers. The mark you provided is often called its windmill mark. The color of the mark is a huge aid in dating the porcelain. Marks were black prior to World War I. They became green after World War I and before World War II. After World War II, Ens marks were blue.
Your figurine was made around 1900 and would probably be worth $50 to $75.
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.