Style Is a Melange of Earlier Designs

By Anne McCollam

September 6, 2019 4 min read

Q: Enclosed is a photo of an antique chair I purchased in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. The elaborately carved frame is walnut. When I cleaned it with Murphy Oil Soap, the color really came alive. It was originally upholstered with needlepoint and stuffed with horsehair.

Anything you can tell me about the vintage and value of my chair will be appreciated.

A: There was a myriad of revivals of earlier design periods in the late 1800s and very early 1900s. You have an early 20th-century revival armchair that reflects a batch of styles, including 18th century English, French rococo and baroque furniture. Your ornately scrolled, carved frame embellished with the carved shell motif represents this melange of styles.

Your armchair is circa 1920 and would probably be worth $200 to $400.

Q: This mark is on a porcelain teapot I have. It is the shape of a red tomato with a leaf-green spout, handle and base. Smaller red tomatoes form the lid. The height is almost 3 inches tall, and it's 5 inches wide.

I hope you can tell me something about its manufacturer, age and value.

A: Royal Bayreuth Porcelain Factory in Germany made your teapot. In 1792, at the request of Friedrich Wilhelm II, King of Prussia, geologist Alexander von Humboldt researched an appropriate site for a porcelain factory. He recommended Tettau, a small village in the Thuringian hills in Bavaria, as the place for the factory. Johann Schmidt and Wilhelm Grenier were commissioned to establish the business in 1794. As one of the oldest porcelain factories in Germany, the company survived turmoil, world wars and changes in management and owners. In the beginning, their high-quality porcelain was intended for royalty. They soon realized the advantage of providing porcelain for the public. In the late 1800s, the company branched out and began making more than dinnerware, coffee and tea sets. It introduced novelty series including Sunbonnet Babies, Devil and Cards, Shell Shapes, Art Nouveau Lady, Rose Tapestry, Santa Claus and the Tomato figural pieces. Royal Bayreuth has used several marks over the years. The mark you provided was used beginning in 1900. Your teapot is part of the Tomato series, which included water pitchers, bowls, sugar bowls, salt-and-pepper shakers and two sizes of teapots.

Your piece is one of the smaller teapots and was made circa 1900. Its value would probably be $35 to $45.

 Ornate chair was made around 1920.
Ornate chair was made around 1920.
 Royal Bayreuth Porcelain Factory was located in Bavaria.
Royal Bayreuth Porcelain Factory was located in Bavaria.

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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