Q: I have enclosed a photo of a covered punch bowl and matching mugs. The lid is decorated with leaves, vines and grapes in relief, and the handle is a cherub holding a pitcher. The punch bowl is decorated with panels of castle scenes that include: Burg Sooneck, Burg Rheinstein, Marksburg, Burg Lahneck and Godesburg. The eight matching mugs are also decorated with scenes in relief. "Made in Germany — 3361," is marked on the bottom of the punch bowl.
We would appreciate any information regarding the use of our set, its history and value.
A: Your stoneware punch bowl can be used for hot mulled wine, cider or rum punch. Without the maker's name, it can be difficult to identify the factory where it was made. Having said that, your set was probably made by Simon Peter Gerz pottery in Hohr-Grenzhausen, Germany. The word "burg" means castle in the German language, not to be confused with the word "berg," which means mountain. The number on your piece, 3361, is the design number.
Your punch bowl and matching mugs were made in the early 1900s and might be worth $225 to $275.
Q: The enclosed mark is on the bottom of a footed hand-painted porcelain bowl my mother bought in an antiques shop in the 1960s. It is 10 inches in diameter, 3 inches tall and in mint condition. It is decorated with pink peonies, blue forget-me-nots and green foliage. The edge is trimmed in gold. My mother has been sorting through her things in preparation for her move to a retirement community. She gave the bowl to me because I always admired it.
Anything you can tell me about the maker, age and value of our bowl will be appreciated.
A: The mark you provided was used by exporters and brothers Ichizaemon and Toyo Morimura. They started out in Japan as a trading company in 1876. During the 1890s, they manufactured and exported fine porcelain specifically designed to appeal to the West. They established offices and showrooms in New York. According to the Tariff Act of 1890, any object imported to the United States must be marked with the origin of the country. "Nippon" is the Japanese word for Japan and was included with marks from 1891 to around 1921. After that, they used Japan.
Your hand-painted porcelain bowl was made in the early 1900s and would probably be worth $75 to $125.
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.