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Posts Tagged ‘collector’


There are two trains of thought behind occupational steins.  The most prevelant is that of “what kind of work you do”.  Many steins have been made and given over the years as gifts to artisans who possibly did some qaulity work for a customer and the customer wanted to show their appreciation.  There are those collectors that specialize in steins depicting one’s occupation. 

The representation of the occupation is usually shown on the body, lid, and/or thumlift.  The scene is most normally of a worker in action or in uniform, or the products or tools of the occupation are shown.

         

This is an “Occupation” stein of a Coal Miner.

 

The coal miner stein has Maker’s Mark  – Simon Peter Gerz, c. 1900 to 1960, Germany.  Gerz steins are still made today.

 

Some occupational steins are at first glance hard to recognize as “occupation” steins.  An example would be bucket, stirrer or scoop in a barrel (brewer), scissors and divider (tailor), oxheads or pretzels (butchers and bakers).  Books would indicate professional occupations such as lawyers or teachers.  When famous craftsmen are depicted such as Johan Gutenberg the Hapsburg Double Headed Eagle will be depicted.

Occupational steins can be found from all eras and in all materials.  The most commanly collected occupationals are those from around 1900 that have steepled pewter lids and porcelain or stoneware bodies.

Thats it for today fellow collectors.  In my next post I will discuss a few steins from the War years, primarily WWII. So until then Happy collecting and remember the best is yet to come.

NOTE:  Don’t forget to look for my updates in all post as I buy, sell and trade in each collection. (update to “Taking Care of Your Nippon” Collection)

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What do you have?  A question we all ask ourselves from time to time when we have found a collectible and we don’t know where it came from.  I am going to show you how I did recent research on a collectible I have had for many years, a portrait of two nuns.

              

The first photo was taken outside under natural light and the second inside using my homemade photo lab.

I always believed that this print was hand stitched.  It looks as though it is when examined closely.  I recently decided to market the print and knew I was going to have to research to find out exactly what it was and where it came from.  Here is how I tackled the research.

1.)  I examined the print closely for Maker’s Marks. No matter what item you are researching pottery, paintings, glass, prints etc. finding the marks are very important.  On some peices “No markings” tells the history and maker of the antique or collectible.  When I examined this peice of history I found NFF woven into the lower left hand corner and D’APR E. Sonrel woven into the lower right hand corner. I had to disassemble the print from the frame to find that information.

2.)  With the emergence of computing we now have a full library of information at hand.  Although I own a good size library of reference books on the things I collect this was one of those decorative art collectibles I own for it’s beauty and not to build a collection. So I had no books to pour through to determine what it was or where it came from. 

Sonrel

3.)  I first searched for the name of Sonrel.  Almost immediately I came across the name of Stephane Sonrel. A male painter from Tours France in the 1800’s.  After reading his bio I learned he had a daughter that he trained in art and her name was….Elizabeth Sonrel.  Pretty easy so far.  Elizabeth Sonrel also became a known French painter 1874 – 1953.  Elizabeth went on to train in Paris under a master artist and displayed her first work at the age of 18.  Her paintings are mostly portraits of woman with lots of decorative lace. But what about the D’APR that was woven before her name.  I checked my French dictionary.  D’Apr means “before”.  So this told me that the image had been painted before the print was made and that image was a painting by Elizabeth Sonrel. “Two Nuns Praying”.

4.)  I then tackled the NFF.  When doing research, it is important not to give up easily or become discouraged.  You must have dogged determination.  I read many articles, documentaries etc. and opened tons of web pages.  I finally found the NFF I was looking for way down on Google’s placement of pages.  What I found was a website where three other person’s who had the same peice of artwork that I have (described verbatum) had written to an expert researcher to try to learn what it was.  This expert told them they had a “silk screen” that was a print of an E. Sonrel painting.  And she gave the name of the company of the Maker’s Mark as Neyret Freres.  Eureka!  I found it! Joy is the only word to describe an exciting find.

5.)  I then expanded my research to include Neyret Freres.  Neyret Freres is a French Company that specialized in the making of silk ribbon and operated from the end of WWI and closed before the beginning of WWII.  The most interesting thing was that they made Silk Screens on a loom called a “jacquard” loom. But this was not just an ordinary jacquard loom. This was a period when industrialization was flourishing and the Neyret Freres company had a water powered jacquard loom.  A very unique and modern peice of equipment at the time. That loom is now retired and housed in working condition at the “Museum of Art and Industry” in France.

6.)  My next task was to get a monetary value of this peice.  Again, turning to the computer search engines I started to look for auctions that had sold “silk screens”. After considerable search I found not one but two auctions, the last on Feb 6, 2010 of an exact copy of the very screen that I have.   And so I had the value of the screen.

7.)  I wanted to put the “silk screen” up for auction through my eBay store, so I then researched what silk screens sold for on eBay by using Advanced Search, closed listings as well as active listings.  I also used Terapeak, a software program that researches closed sales with values sold for, date as well as number of bids and time of day sold.  With this information I was able to adequately market my Neyret Freres Silk Screen, “Two Nuns Praying” for a price that I could part with it.

For collector’s the research and the finding of exactly what you have, who made it, where it came from and the period in history it is from is euphoric. The best part of being a collector.  I am very exicited to learn that I have a silk screen, made on a water powered jacquard loom from the late 1800s, a copy of Elizabeth Sonrell’s work and a religous artifact all in one.  Eureka!

You can check out my find in my eBay store.  Just click on My Assistant Editor (the Duck) in the upper right hand corner of this page to veiw or even purchase this artifact in my store. It has a search feature so put in “Two Nuns” and you have it.

So collectors, until next post Happy Collecting and remember the best is yet to come!

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Noritake Lusterware


One of the most important contributions of Noritake china was the development of Lusterware.  This was a glazing technique using a bright, single color glaze (brown, blue, orange, green) covered in a thin metallic film.  The result was a polychromatic, iridescent look that grace these peices of Japanese porcelain in a bright rainbow-like sheen.  This technique became very popular with other manufacturers during the 20th century.  The major importer being the U.S.  This was a time after the depression and the beginning of the roaring 20’s and Art Nouveau was in vogue.  In fact, many of the peices of Lusterware from the Noritake family of china is very Art Nouveau. Their biggest production being small peices of giftware that was offered in many U.S. Five & Dime stores.  This is what makes it so collectible.  Although not as popular as “Nippon” and other works by Noritake, some peices of Lusterware command high prices. But there are still great bargains to be found:

    

An “Art Deco” ashtray marked “Hand Painted, TWNO, Made in Japan” ca. 1921 – 1930 (from my collection).

 

Years 1921 – 1941

In the first part of this series I discussed “Nippon” and the years 1894 – 1921 and now moving further along in the production calendar for the Noritake company I will explain why they stopped putting “Nippon” as part of their backstamp.

This period of 1921 – 1941 is clearly set apart by two major events, a change in U. S. law and the beginning of World War II in 1941. 

In 1921 American import laws changed to require the place of origin be marked on a product in English.  Since “Nippon” was more a description of an island and a native word to that island, the word “Nippon” was no longer acceptable for imports and the new law.  Backstamps after 1921 state “Japan” or “Made in Japan”.  Thus, it is easier to identify the earlier peices of china by those marked with “Nippon” and later peices by those marked with “Made in Japan”.

Here is an interest mark where the “Hand Painted Nippon” is  overstamped with “Made in Japan” ca. 1921 (from my collection)

 

   

Other Makers Marks you might see on Lusterware and a nice photo of a Lusterware cup and saucer (from my collection)

 

Collector’s can still find excellent purchases and colorful peices of lusterware and it is a wonderful subject of Japanese porcelain to collect at this time.  I believe that Lusterware will increase in value over the next few years and be hard to collect without significant money to invest.

In my next post I will discuss the war years and peices marked “Made in Occupied Japan” so until then Happy Collecting and always remember the best is yet to come.

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