Minton porcelain company known for its high quality
Published: Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 4:48 p.m.
Q: Would you please identify the enclosed china pattern? I have an eight-piece setting of this beautiful Minton china, and I cannot find the name of it.
A: Minton, the English porcelain company, is recognized worldwide for high-quality porcelain products in the general market and the antiques marketplace. Wow, what a beautiful pattern. I am glad you included several good, clear photos, including one of the Minton backstamp. The pattern is Plymouth, first issued in the 1920s.
Q: I live in Gainesville, about a mile west of I-75, off of Newberry Road. One day, when I was walking through my yard, I looked down and saw this treasure. It had rained hard the day before, and it was a slanted area of ground, so I think that it had been there for quite some time, just recently showing up due to erosion. I have children and neighbors who love to play sword-type games in my yard. Just to be sure, I asked around to see if, perhaps, a neighbor dropped it in our yard. No one recognized it or knew where it came from. I tried looking up information on antique knives and/or letter openers, but I have yet to find anything just like it. It is 7.5 inches long. I looked very closely for etchings of words to help me identify it, but no luck. I was curious if you knew anything about this.
A: Letter openers are a large category of collector interest. They have been made in massive quantities in the United States and throughout the world. They were produced in gold, silver, brass, bronze, copper, aluminum, ivory, bone, wood, glass and plastic. The opportunities for collectors to have fun collecting at all the price levels make them affordable. Perhaps your find will trigger a collecting interest. I think your brass scimitar-looking letter opener was manufactured prior to World War II. Potential dollar value is less than $10.
Q: I am a longtime fan of your radio show and newspaper column, so it could be that an endorsement for Back in Time Restoration stuck in my mind when I was looking for an antiques restorer to repair an aged ornate rocker. Richard was terrific in his assessment of its artistry, which may help in my determination to keep it. It has always barked our shins, but my mother was so proud of it. I was in heaven touring Richard's workshop. All the things I love — wood, old tools, etc. He loves what he does and approaches each project slowly and carefully. I am thankful that I wound up there.
A: Thank you for the kind words. It is good to hear your experience with Back in Time Restoration was a good one. Testimonials often are the way we learn about new resources we are not aware of.
John Sikorski is an Ocala antiques dealer. He hosts a call-in radio show, "Sikorski's Attic,'' on WUFT-FM (89.1 FM). It can be heard each Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. Send your questions to Sikorski's Attic, c/o The Gainesville Sun, 2700 SW 13th St., Gainesville, FL 32608-2015; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.