Since 1751, Royal Worcester has been known worldwide for its collections of porcelain goods. It remains one of the oldest producers of tableware and decorative items in England.
In the late 19th century, Royal Worcester designed unique pitchers and ewers with handles that were parts of animals or tree branches. Stag horns, dragons, winged creatures, bamboo branches, and artwork popularized their style.
Painted Japonisme-style chrysanthemums and poppies with gold trim float on the ivory background of the body of this pitcher. The handle is shaped like a ram’s head. It sold for $118 at William Bunch Auctions of Pennsylvania. It was marked with the date 1888. The ivory background color became very popular in the late 19th century but was discontinued in 1914.
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Q: Our dining room table has been in the family for generations. It’s sturdy but is very well-used and looks it. If we decide to sell it, is it a good idea to re- finish it? Or does that lower the value?
A: Generally, refinishing a piece of furniture will not lower the value unless it is a museum-quality antique from the 18th or 19th centuries or associated with a famous owner, maker, or designer. If your table is meant to be used, rather than displayed as a work of art, refinishing an old, scratched surface will make it more appealing to potential buyers. Do you know your table’s age or maker? Check it for labels or maker’s marks. To guess its age based on family history, take your age and add 25 years for each generation after its original owner. (This will not give you an exact age, but can help you approximate it.) If you are still in doubt about whether or not to refinish your table, consult a professional refinisher, or appraiser.
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