Beware many modern fakes of old Roseville vases

Farm Forum

Roseville Pottery was founded in Roseville, Ohio, in 1890. A second Roseville plant opened in nearby Zanesville in 1898. Early Roseville pieces were decorated with handwork, including sgraffito designs. Sgraffito is a method of scratching or carving a design into wet clay. Roseville vases with sgraffito designs are the most expensive Roseville vases today. Later pieces were molded, and many were made with raised decorations of flowers and fruit. Almost every piece was marked with some form of the word “Roseville” or “Rozane” (a combination of the names of the two cities where the pottery’s plants were located). But be careful. Other potteries in the town of Roseville used the word “Roseville” in their marks, and there are many modern fakes of old Roseville vases. A vase covered with raised fish designed in 1906 by Frederick Hurten Rhead, the company’s art director, sold for $3,125 at a June 2012 Rago Arts auction in Lambertville, N.J. It was marked “GA” by the unknown artist who carved the fish. A almost identical vase marked “ED” is known. There was a set pattern for the artists to follow for these vases, part of a Roseville line called “Della Robbia.”

Q I’m trying to find information on the C.M. Bott Furniture Co. of Buffalo, N.Y. I have a piece by the company and can’t find any information. Can you help?

A C.M. Bott Furniture Co. was founded by Charles M. Bott and was in business in Buffalo, N.Y., from 1914 to about 1931. The company specialized in making moderately priced dining-room furniture.

Q We have a Cheerful Oak stove made by Channon-Emery Stove Co. It’s stamped with the number 1900, which may be the year of manufacture. Can you give us an idea of the stove’s value? It’s not in good condition.

A The Channon-Emery Stove Co. was founded in about 1880 by Joseph Emery and William Channon. The company, located in Quincy, Ill., manufactured various types of heating and cooking stoves and ranges. The Cheerful Oak model is listed as a “heater” in an 1895 issue of “The Metal Worker,” a trade journal. The Cheerful Oak was made in three sizes and was designed to burn wood or coal. Your stove, if in poor condition, would sell for about $300.

Q I read an article about old collectible cereal boxes. I have two Wheaties boxes picturing the 1987 World Champion Minnesota Twins. Both boxes are in perfect shape and have never been opened. What are they worth?

A A friend has one of the 1987 boxes, too. A single box, even in perfect condition, would sell for $10 to $15. If you decide to hold on to your Twins boxes, store them in archival bags. Open the boxes carefully from the bottom and empty out the cereal to prevent damage from insects.

Q I found a large platter in my basement. I don’t know where it came from. It’s white with a thin decorative border and the letters “U.S.L.H.S.” at the top. It is 13 by 19 1/2 inches and is marked on the back “James M. Shaw & Co., New York.” There’s also a second mark I can’t make out. Any information would be appreciated.

A The initials on your platter stand for the United States Lighthouse Service, which was formed in 1910. It merged with the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939. The Lighthouse Service maintained all the lighthouses in the United States. Three different patterns of dinnerware were made for the Lighthouse Service, each by a different manufacturer. Your platter is in one of the first two patterns made. The mark you can’t read is probably the manufacturer’s mark. James M. Shaw & Co. was a New York City distributor that was bought by Nathan Straus in 1936. So your plate was probably made between 1910 and 1936. Value: about $1,000 because it was made for the Lighthouse Service.

Q I have a green Lucky Strike trick cigarette pack. There’s a small key to wind it up in the back of the pack. Then the pack jiggles on the table.

A Lucky Strike cigarettes were first made by the American Tobacco Co. in 1916. The package was green with a red logo until 1942, when the pack was changed to white with the same red logo. Your vibrating cigarette pack was made sometime before 1942 by J. Chein Co., a toy company founded by Julius Chein in New York in 1903. Chein made small toys and prizes for Cracker Jack as well as Disney, Felix, Popeye and other character toys. The company moved to New Jersey in 1949 and in the 1950s began making advertising tins, kitchen canisters, wastebaskets and other housewares. Chein stopped making toys in 1976. The Atlantic Can Co. bought Chein in 1987 and the company’s name became Atlantic Cheinco Corp. That company went bankrupt in 1992. Trick packs like yours sell for $80 or less.

Tip: Never wash a tobacco “felt.” The small flannel flags and other flannel premiums were packed with cigarettes in the early 1900s. They lose value if washed.

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