Q: This photo is a close-up of a saucer that I have. It is 5 inches in diameter and has a small chip on the border. It is decorated with a floral pattern in dark purple; some of the leaves are green, and a few of the flowers are touched in dark pink. The mark on the back has a lion above the words "T. J. & J. Mayer — Flower Vase — Prize Medal 1851."
I am curious about the maker, vintage and value.
A: Your saucer was made by Thomas, John and Joshua Mayer. They made earthenware, china and Parian in Dale Hall Pottery Longport near Burslem, Staffordshire, England, from 1843 to 1855. They exhibited their earthenware in the British Exhibition in 1851, 1853 and 1855 and were awarded a medal in 1851. The pottery produced large amounts of mulberry ware, as well as flow blue and polychrome designs. Many of their designs were decorated with Asian motifs, landscapes and floral, romantic and historical themes. Flower Vase is the name of the pattern on your saucer. It was a popular design and used on a variety of pieces that included cups, saucers and dinnerware.
Your Mulberry ware saucer is circa 1850 and would probably be worth $20 to $25.
Q: This mark is on a set of four dinner plates that we think originally belonged to our great-grandmother. They are decorated with the silhouettes of two men sitting at a tavern table. The background is a cream color, and each plate is trimmed in gold. For as old as they are, it is surprising that they are in mint condition.
Anything you can tell us about the plates will be appreciated.
A: The mark you provided was used by Hall China Co. The factory was located in East Liverpool, Ohio. It was founded by Robert Hall in 1903. The pattern is identified by two names, Silhouette and Taverne. Although your plates were made by Hall China Co., both Crooksville China Co. located in Crooksville, Ohio, and Taylor, Smith & Taylor, located in Chester, West Virginia, made variations of the tavern scene. The pattern appeared on mixing bowls, salt and pepper shakers, dinnerware, mugs, baking dishes and fruit bowls. A plethora of accessories were made to accompany the pattern, including rolling pins, shelf paper, wooden-handled utensils and wax paper dispensers.
Your Silhouette pattern dinner plates were made around 1930. Each dish might have a value of $15 to $30.
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