4 · SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2017 TRIB TOTALMEDIA ANTIQUEDETECTIVE American porcelain rarities await discovery I am always preaching about the importance of research. Even in today’s down market, rare early American porcelain still gets top dollar and can be recognized by the collector who spends time researching. Sure, we all read about the great discoveries that come to Sothebys’ and Christie’s auction blocks. Yet, there are hundreds of silent collectors who make discoveries you never hear about. You could be one of them. A good example is a collector friend who prides herself at never spending more than $25 at garage and yard sales. More importantly, she spends time in the library and on the internet researching early American porcelain and pottery. A recent find was a rare Bennington Toby pitcher. As she told me, dealers and pickers had long ignored the unmarked pitcher. Her research proved it was authentic and valued at over $400. Back in 1982, a picker went to a Long Island, N.Y., garage sale and spent $2 for what turned out to be a rare American sweetmeat stand. It later was auctioned at Sotheby’s for $60,000. In 1990, a similar piece sold for $82,500. The pieces, made by Bonnin & Morris, which is thought to be America’s first porcelain factory, could be discovered by you, if you research. Historically, after the French and Indian War (1756-63), the new colonial upper class centered in Philadelphia were furnishing their homes with fine silver and porcelain for their dinner tables. To meet their needs, Gouse Bonnin and George Anthony Morris opened a firm for the “manufacture of porcelain and china earthenware.” The firm was in business only from 1770-72, which accounts for the rarity and value of the few documented pieces. CLUES: Advertisements in 1771 indicated the factory mark would be a letter “S” for Southwark where the factory was located. But, some discovered pieces have an under glaze blue letter “P” for Philadelphia. Other documented pieces have been found with no letter. They are in the manner of English Bow or Plymouth pieces. Old factory records indicate that they made complete sets for the dining and tea table, including dinner plates, sauceboats and openwork fruit baskets. There were also shellshaped pickle dishes. A single dinner plate could be worth thousands of dollars. Do you have an antique item and need more information? For a personal reply, send a photo, along with history, size and any signatures with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and $25 to Anne Gilbert, 1811 Renaissance Commons Blvd., #2319, Boynton Beach, FL, 33426. ByAnne Gilbert Antique Detective WINTERTHUR MUSEUM This Bonnin&Morris porcelain fruit basket is marked with an under glaze blue letter “P,” indicating it was made in Philadelphia. adno=6X5-375-FIL-1 IMAGINE IT. Three Rivers Print Source provides many business-to-business services youmight not expect to find under one roof. As a full-service print company, we offer offset and digital printing along with custom graphic design, collateral sales, delivery and direct mail and marketing support to help you grow your business. All from one source, one location. Let us help increase your efficiency and decrease your costs! ∞Direct Mail & Postcards ∞Banners & Signage ∞ Newsletters ∞Booklets ∞Brochures ∞Catalogs ∞Doorhangers ∞ Menus ∞Handbooks ∞Posters ∞Invitations ∞Newspapers ∞and so much more! For more information, contact Gary Mazzotta at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 724-226-7799.
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