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THE KOVELS | Antiques and collecting Royal Flemish glass has a distinctive appearance



Published: Sun, August 25, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



In 1894, a new glassware was patented. It had heavy gold relief designs on multicolored panels in brown and blue tones.

Sometimes there were added enameled decorations of birds, animals or geometric patterns. It was called Royal Flemish glass.

The Mount Washington Glass Co. of New Bedford, Mass., made many unusually colored glasswares, but this was possibly the most elaborate and exotic.

Patterns were named Coin, Roman Head Medallions, Fish and Shell, Camel and Rider, Guba Ducks or Rampant Lions to help explain the designs to customers.

The glassware is very expensive today.

It is almost never signed, but pieces are so distinctive that they are easy to recognize.

Royal Flemish glass has not been reproduced because the method of manufacture would be so expensive today.

Q. My father's old captain's chair has a faded label under the seat. The label reads & quot;New Orleans Manufacturing Co. & quot; Can you tell us how old the chair is?

A. The company that made your father's chair worked in New Orleans from 1896 to 1929. The firm manufactured tables and chairs in revival styles.

Q. I have an antique three-faced baby doll that's nearly 20 inches long. The doll's head and hands appear to be bisque, and the body is cloth. A knob on the top of the head protrudes through a hole in the doll's bonnet. If you turn the knob, the doll's head rotates to bring the desired face to the front. The faces show the doll sleeping, smiling and crying. The bonnet back covers the two unseen faces. She is dressed in a long, white, cotton-and-lace dress. I cannot find any markings on the doll. Can you estimate age and value?

A. Look closely for a mark on the doll's head or neck. That might tell you the maker. If the doll is old, it was probably made in Germany sometime between about 1890 and 1910. Various manufacturers made two- and three-faced dolls similar to yours. The best-known German makers were Carl Bergner, Max Frederick Schelhorn and Fritz Bartenstein. These dolls have been reproduced in recent years. If your doll is an old one and in excellent condition, it could sell for more than $2,000.

Q. I cannot find any information about a set of dishes my mother-in-law bought in 1929. The plates have a burgundy border with gold trim. The center decal shows a large estate on a cliff, with people picnicking under a tree in the foreground. The mark reads & quot;Sebring Pottery Co., U.S.A., Burgundy, Chateau France. & quot;

A. Frank A. Sebring and his partners bought a pottery in East Liverpool, Ohio, in 1887. Sebring moved the pottery to Mahoning County in 1898-99, and called the town that grew around it & quot;Sebring. & quot; The firm made a great variety of semiporcelain dinnerware. The decal on your dishes is called Chateau France. Sebring Pottery Co. continued to work until the early 1940s. The management team that ran Sebring also eventually controlled the American Limoges China Co. of Sebring and the Salem China Co. of Salem, Ohio. Similar patterns and shapes were made by the three potteries.

Q. I have an old leather belt with a large metal buckle. The buckle is embossed with the sculpted figure of a partially nude woman holding a bottle of Coke. The Coca-Cola script logo is also on the buckle, along with the phrase & quot;Refreshing and Delicious, Atlanta, Ga., U.S.A. & quot; In the upper right corner of the buckle is the inscription & quot;Tiffany Foundry. & quot; The back of the buckle reads & quot;The Coca-Cola Bottler, J.J. Willard, Philadelphia. & quot; Does this buckle have any value?

A. Your buckle is a notorious fake made in the late 1960s or early '70s. At the time, a London company called Deane and Adams sold a line of new western-style belt buckles that were made to look old. They were marked & quot;Tiffany & quot; or & quot;Gaylord & quot; and advertised Wells Fargo, American Express, Mickey Mouse, Western Union and other famous companies or names. Neither Coca-Cola nor its bottlers made or distributed & quot;nude & quot; belt buckles.

Q. My berry-bowl set includes a large master bowl and six individual bowls. I cannot identify the mark on the back. It looks like a three-tiered beehive with an extra line on each side of the hive. Above the hive are the initials & quot;L.S. & amp; S. & quot; Below it are the words & quot;Austria, D & Egrave;cor Depos & Egrave;. & quot;

A. The initials & quot;L.S. & amp; S. & quot; were used between about 1892 and 1924 by Lewis Straus & amp; Sons, a New York importing company. The Straus firm owned a factory in Germany. It also imported pottery from Bohemia, which was part of the Austrian Empire until 1918. The French words & quot;d & Egrave;cor depos & Egrave; & quot; can be translated as & quot;design registered. & quot; So your berry-bowl set was probably made in Bohemia before 1918 and was imported by Lewis Straus & amp; Sons.

Tip

Organic chemicals, like human perspiration or plant oils, will eventually interact with paper and cause damage. Never trim a frayed piece of paper with the scissors you use to cut hair or flowers.

XThe Kovels answer as many questions as possible through the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for its use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names and addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, The Vindicator, King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019.

& copy; 2002, Cowles Syndicate Inc.




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