Aren't you glad spring is just around the corner where we can get back out to the local garage sales and flea markets once again in search of valuable treasure?
This winter being cooped up in my apartment mostly due to bad weather, I was able to write two new books, one which is now available on amazon entitled, "Price Guide To Rookwood Pottery Wall Plaques," that were originally produced in an abandoned Eastern Avenue school house in Cincinnati from 1910 up to 1940, by famous Rookwood artists as Lenore Asbury, Edward Diers, Ed Hurley and several other famous Rookwood artists. A couple of these plaques have indeed shown up recently in Washington County and sold at auction by Cincinnati Art Galleries.
This winter I have also been working on a long over due, "Price Guide to American Bisque Cookie Jars," that were manufactured in Williamstown from the early 1940s up until the company closed its doors in 1982. The company not only produced its own product, but was also tied to other companies in producing their product.
One of these companies was Leeds China Co., Chicago, that was actually a distributor licensed by Walt Disney Productions to produce Disney characters in pottery form. These Disney characters known today were actually produced by American Bisque for Leeds China, but are marked made by Walt Disney Productions.
Another distributor to hire American Bisque in Williamstown to produce their pottery was the Cardinal China Co., Carteret, N.J. Any cookie jar found today marked Cardinal China Co. was most likely made by American Bisque.
Any pottery found today marked (23k gold guaranteed) by the G.C. Shafer Company, Zanesville, was also actually made by American Bisque in Williamstown, or by American Pottery in Marietta. The Shafer Co. was only a decorator hired by both potteries to apply laced gold to their product.
In working on this book I was able to come up with several new cookie jars that was never known to actually exist, made by American Bisque and American Pottery in Marietta. Much of its pottery was never actually cataloged, and when Mr. Allen, the owner of American Bisque, passed away, he took with him indepth knowledge of everything that was produced by the company.
American Bisque products were sold mostly in chain stores all around the country through Kresge's, Grant's, G.C. Murphy, Thrift Drug, and Woolworth. Records show that Kresge's was the largest buyer and seller of American Bisque Pottery in 1974 with annual order of product totaling $355,274.
Auction prices realized
Wooden barrel, 5-gallon beer keg, Marietta Brewing Company, 613 Second St., $228.50.
Shadix Radio glass advertising ashtray, $10.
Marietta College 125th anniversary plate, $15.
Cookbook, 40 pages, by August Weber Packing Company, "Medley of Meat Recipes," $16.
1902 Atlas, city of Marietta, $225.
Larry Koon is the author of several price guide books on antiques and collectibles. His column appears every Monday on Life. Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta 45750; or e-mail him at email@example.com.