Painting porcelain was all the rage

Published: Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 12:33 p.m.

Q: I bought this vase in 1973 in Valparaiso, Ind., in an antiques shop. It is signed, "P. Donurhari." Except for a repaired crack in the neck of the vase, I have never seen such beautiful workmanship. I would love to have some information on the background of the artist and where it was made. If it did not have a visible crack, what would it be worth?


Painting porcelain hollowware and china was all the rage among ladies during the Victorian era and on into the early 20th century. (Courtesy of John Sikorski)

J.N., Internet

A: You are correct; the bud vase has a beautiful look and appears to be hand-painted. Painting porcelain hollowware and china was all the rage among ladies during the Victorian era and on into the early 20th century. They typically hand-signed their work for relatives or friends. Most were not professional artists, so there is no information on them. I assume there are no maker's mark on the bottom of the vase. Potential dollar value is less than $100.

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Q: I bought this table at a random sale. It is end-table size. It was a window in its former life. The brilliant etched glass panels are held in place by wood pieces. I would appreciate any insight you have.

S.S., Internet

A: The small table with an X-form stretcher appears to be made of mahogany and could originally have had a serving tray top. The etched-glass panel is in the style of pietra-dura hard stone tabletops made in Italy during the 19th century. I suspect your table was made of separate parts in the 20th century. Potential dollar value is catch-as-catch-can.

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Q: Can you identify this piece of furniture? I would like to know its age and value?

B.D., Internet

A: The sofa style is Rococo Revival, popular during the last quarter of the 19th century. I suspect it was made in America. You did not send good enough photographs, i.e. close-ups of the carving detail, the backside, etc., for me to determine if it is period or made between World Wars I and II, when furniture companies repeated the style. However, this type of sofa was produced in huge quantities and is currently very difficult to sell except at a recognizably low price.

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Q: I have a vase that is English Wedgwood. On the bottom it says "77 U GW." How can I know its history or value?

The other piece is a Harrods of London item. It looks like a small sugar or salt container with a mini spoon. It says "Harrods" underneath and "HLA1," with a mini capital "D" just above the "L."

D.D., Internet

A: The pretty Wedgwood vase was made in the 20th century. The original period the style was made is early 19th century, so serious Wedgwood collectors are not interested. Potential dollar value is less than $50.

The covered sugar container from the famous London Harrods department store is in poor condition. Potential dollar value is catch-as-catch-can.

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

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