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Redware Pottery

A strange redware pottery item was listed in a re-cent auction as a cup. It looked more like a squat 2-inch vase with a large opening on one side. The auction catalog called it a “19th century glazed redware slip cup,” estimated at $200 to $400. Even with a picture we were baffled. How was a slip cup used? Or was it just a typo in the caption for a sipping cup?

We kept looking at pictures of redware until we finally found the an-swer. The cup is used when decorating pottery with slip, a liquid the consistency of toothpaste that was forced through a quill tube to create raised line and circle decorations. This slip cup was probably made by the Singer Pottery in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, about 1830. About four quills were poked into the open space in the side so four lines could be drawn on a piece of pottery at once. The auction slip cup sold for $649.

Q: I’m having trouble finding a value for an antique RCA Victor console radio, model K-81, built in 1939. Can you help me?

A: RCA was founded in 1919 when General Electric bought the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America (known as American Marconi) and renamed it the Radio Corporation of America. The company made radios for General Electric and also some for Westinghouse. The company name became the RCA Corporation in 1969. RCA’s model K81 has a broadcast band and two shortwave bands, and the console has push buttons to preset stations. It has eight vacuum tubes. Transistor radios became popular in the late 1950s, and the last radios with vacuum tubes were phased out in the 1960s. Old tube radios in good working condition sell for $100 to $150.

Tip: Clean dirty cloth book covers with wads of stale bread.