Collectors Repurpose Ashtrays

By Anne McCollam

June 12, 2015 4 min read

Q: While shopping for antiques, I came across three Wedgwood ashtrays. One is green, one is blue and the third is yellow. I have a photo of all three. I have never seen yellow ones before and wonder if mine is rare. They each measure 4 3/8 inches in diameter and 9/16 inches deep. The yellow one has some sort of berries on branches; the blue one is decorated with the image of the winged horse, Pegasus, and the green one is decorated with the image of a woman driving a chariot. The green and blue ashtrays have leaves on the edges. All images are white and in relief. Each is marked "Wedgwood — Made in England.

I paid $5 each and would like to know if they are worth a little more than that.

A: Wedgwood was founded by Josiah Wedgwood in England in 1759. Your ashtrays are examples of jasperware, which was developed by Wedgwood in 1774. Jasperware has a matte finish and was made in several colors, including blue, yellow, green, lilac and black. Pieces were often decorated with Greek classical motifs in white and in relief. Blue jasperware was the most common. The green ashtray figure is the goddess of the dawn, Aurora. The flowers on the yellow ashtray are primroses. You are correct; the figure on the blue one is the winged horse, Pegasus. Although they were intended to be used as ashtrays, people often use them today to hold rings or pins.

Your ashtrays appeal to collectors of jasperware and also Tobacciana. They were made in the mid 1900s and can be found selling for $15 to $25 each.

Q: I have enclosed the mark that is on the bottom of a teapot that I bought at a yard sale over 20 years ago. The teapot is decorated with a young girl standing with two geese in front of a colonial home. The background is a cream color. The teapot stands about 7 inches tall and is in mint condition.

What can you tell me about the maker, age and value of my teapot?

A: This mark was used by Edwin M. Knowles China Company. They made semi-vitreous china in Chester and Newell, West Virginia, from 1900 to 1963. "American Tradition" refers to a variety of designs inspired by early American to modern American motifs. Knowles China Company was one of the leading manufacturers of dinnerware. After the firm was liquidated, the rights to use the Knowles name were sold to a distributor of collector plates.

Your teapot was made in 1939 and would probably be worth $25 to $35.

. Wedgwood was founded in England in 1759.
. Wedgwood was founded in England in 1759.
. Edwin M. Knowles China Company was one of the leading manufacturers of dinnerware in the U.S.
. Edwin M. Knowles China Company was one of the leading manufacturers of dinnerware in the U.S.

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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