Q: I have enclosed a photo of a monk figure that was given to me many years ago. It is made of some type of brown, bronze-colored stone and is slightly heavy for a figure this size. The monk is seated and holding a book in his hands. It is on a platform about a quarter-inch high, and the overall height is almost 8 inches. Impressed into the base are the words "M. V. D. Meulebroucke." On the bottom of the piece are the words "Made in Belgium."
I would like to know the history and value of my figure.
A: You have a figure of a medieval monk made by Marcel Van de Meulebroucke. He was a Belgian artist, sculptor and restorer born in 1902. Your figure is half of a plaster cast bookend. Van de Meulebroucke produced images of saints and folk figures. He died in 1992.
Your early 20th century monk figure bookend would probably be worth $25 to $50.
Q: This mark is on the bottom of set of six blue-and-white cups with matching saucers. They are decorated with scenes of ancient churches and a background of trees and foliage. The borders of the saucers are wide, with blue-scrolled cartouches.
What can you tell me about my cups and saucers?
A: You have a set of "Flow Blue" cups and saucers made by George Jones & Sons. The company made earthenware, porcelain and majolica in Staffordshire, England, from 1861 to 1951. Flow Blue is a term for blue-and-white porcelain, semi-porcelain and stoneware pieces that have a blurry finish rather than a crisp pattern. The color appears to have bled or flowed onto the white surface during the firing. The process began in Staffordshire in the 1820s. The "Abbey" pattern was a transfer print of a 1790 engraving. Potters liked transfer prints because they could be used over and over. It was much cheaper and quicker than hand-painting objects. The pattern was also known as "Abbey Wreath" and made by William Adams and Co. in the 1840s. George Jones & Sons made this pattern from 1864 to 1907. It was also available in a red transferware print.
Your set of Flow Blue cups and saucers might fetch $150 to $300 for the set of six.
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.