I have a beautiful ceramic tea set that has been in many china cabinets since the 1930s. This was a wedding present to my parents from the Tilton, N.H., Fire Department’s chief and his wife. It has beautiful filigree on a white body but no markings anywhere on the pieces. When I would ask, “Where did it come from?” the answer would always be the same: they made it up north.
I am hoping you might be able to identify a maker. This could help in determining its value. Then I hope to find someone who will enjoy the set’s beauty as I have and do.
Janet, what I think they meant when they were always saying to you “up north” was someone might have done the painting on it there.
Lots of companies like Haviland, Limoges, Noritake and more would send their blank china in sets or just odd pieces to New England artists to do the paintings on them. So when you see hand painted dishes (antique ones) with beautiful scenes on them, it is not unusual to see them signed by the artist. Even if you have a matching set, it might have been painted by several different artists.
When you say filigree, I think of gold or silver workings, but it does have a filigree look to it. A lot of these were painted with a real gold paint but not enough to increase the value. I do think that this was part of a complete dinner set and what you have now is broken down into the tea part of it. The downside to all of this is I think it will be tough to find someone who will enjoy it as much as you have. Things are so different today, and the need for such pretty china is not a priority.
So the value may be in the $100 range but the marketability will be very low. If you can pass it to a family member, that is what I would recommend.
Donna Welch has spent more than 20 years in the antiques and collectibles field and owns From Out Of The Woods Antique Center in Goffstown (fromoutofthewoodsantiques.com). She is an antiques appraiser and instructor. To find out about your antique or collectible, send a clear photo of the object and information about it to Donna Welch, From Out Of The Woods Antique Center, 465 Mast Road, Goffstown, N.H., 03045. Or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by the shop (call first, 624-8668).