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Did You Know?

There are so many different types of collectibles, historical objects, vintage furniture, etc in our shop, we put together this handy blog where we'll post brief but interesting and informative blog posts to help you get learn more about this amazing array of goodies that come into our shop every day. If there's a particular topic you'd like to know about, email us!


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Category: Porcelain / Pottery

Hull Pottery

Porcelain / Pottery

Hull Pottery was founded in Crooksville, OH in 1905 by Addis Emmet (A.E.) Hull and other family members. Hull started out by manufacturing common, everyday stoneware. You may have some of the basic brown stoneware cups and plates in your cupboard right now. The family business grew rapidly over the years.

In the 1920's, they expanded into the art pottery line. Their best work is considered to habe been made during the late 1930's thru the 1950's. They used mostly floral themes - colorful orchid, magnolia, calla lily, rose, and tulip are often to be seen gracing the sides of vases and other types of pieces. Also, in 1943, they added Red Riding Hood themed items which were very popular.

Hull had many setbacks in the later years and closed operations in 1986.


Porcelain / Pottery

Cloisonné is an ancient enamelling handcraft and art. Each piece is given individual attention and is unique. The word cloisonne is French. The word for cloisonne in Japanese is shippo, which means "seven treasured ware". In Sanskrit it's Sutha Ratha, meaning emerald, agate, crystal and pearl. The original craft was often encrusted with precious gems.

Here's how cloisonne pieces are made:

  1. The foundation is copper, silver, or gold
  2. A design is drawn on the foundation
  3. Wires are affixed to the design 
  4. Solder enamel flux is dropped in
  5. First baking of soldering wires
  6. First coating of enamels
  7. Second baking (melting point is 850 degrees celsius)
  8. Second coating of enamels
  9. Third baking
  10. Third coating of enamels
  11. Fourth baking - by this time the enamels are thick enough to cover all wires
  12. Polishing with nine different whetstones
  13. Finishing and trimming with silver and/or gold


Here's a great video about cloisonne.


Porcelain / Pottery

The Morimuro brothers started importing and selling "Asian China" in New York in the late 1800’s. Since not much was available to them, they decided to produce their own high quality China pieces. And so, the Noritake China factory was started in 1904 in Noritake, Aichi, Japan, thus the name.

Their variety of pieces were hand painted and colorful. The pieces ranged from vases, teapots, cigarette sets, pin dishes and dinnerware. They can be found in antique shops, at collectibles shows, even in thrift stores, if you’re lucky.

The age of the pieces is dated by the type of mark that is backstamped on it. A piece is considered to be "antique" if it is 100 years old, or "collectible / vintage" if it is 25 to 50 years old. The Noritake maker's mark has changed over the years. Most often it is a letter M inside a wreath. The later mark changed to the letter N in the wreath.

On modern pieces, the company produces several patterns of dinnerware currently, the full name "Noritake" and "made in Japan" is found.

Do a quick internet search for Noritake mark and click Images to see their various makers marks.


Porcelain / Pottery

Most people know Lenox as pretty ivory bowls, vases and other giftware with gold trim, but Lenox makes many other patterns of dinnerware, too.

Walter Scott Lenox, after working for other potters, started his own business in 1889 in Trenton, NJ. He was successful in producing a high quality, lustrous ivory China. He was honored in 1918 to be asked by President and Mrs Wilson to design a dinnerware set for the White House. Other presidents also sought out the Lenox Co to make dinnerware - the Roosevelt’s in 1932, Truman in 1951, Reagan in 1981, Clinton in 2000 and Bush in 2008.


Bing & Grondahl Christmas Plates

Porcelain / Pottery

This Danish company was started in 1853 to produce figurines and dinnerware near Copenhagen.

In 1895 they produced the first Christmas plate in traditional blue and white with a winter scene. They have been produced annually for 100 years. It turned out to be a large portion of its business.

In 1987 they merged with Royal Porcelain to become Royal Copenhagen.

Flow Blue

Porcelain / Pottery

Flow Blue is the name given to antique dinnerware made with cobalt blue transfer patterns that "flowed" at the edges. Developed in the mid-18th century in England to compete with expensive hand painted dinnerware, it is thought by some that, at first, it was a mistake. However, the hazy quality of the patterns was popular. It is still quite collectible.


See Flow Blue Dinner Platter

Toby Jugs and More

Porcelain / Pottery

Toby Jugs were introduced in the 18th century in England and depicted a seated figure holding a mug of beer and a pipe. They are said to be modeled after either Toby Belch, a known heavy drinker or Toby Philpot, a character from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
Character mugs feature faces of famous, mostly English, kings and noblemen. Royal Daulton is one manufacturer, there are many others.
Friar Tuck pitchers were made by the Goebel Company in Germany from the 1950’s to 1988 when discontinued. Some friars were made with crossed eyes on purpose.