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Treasure Hunt: 7/22/2014


07/24/14
By Donna Welch



Dear Donna,

I have a question on a child’s tea set that was given to me by my mother when I was younger. It’s marked “Made in Japan” and has a patent date. That’s about all I know except that it is a four-piece set and in excellent condition.
Any idea on a value would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your time and effort.

Marion of Dover 
 
 
Dear Marion,
Thanks for sharing your sweet tea set with us. It’s called a Blue Willow child’s tea set, and I thought the ship scene was unusual till I did some research and found them easily. Sometimes it amazes me when something comes along and I haven’t seen one. I have seen many willow tea sets with the Asian design, but this is my first of the ship scene.
The fact that it says “Made in Japan” means the year of origin is between 1920s and 1940s. That is when the customs made it mandatory for overseas items to be marked. Sometimes you can find items marked just “Japan,” and this too could be from the same era and there was just not enough room on the item to print all of it. 
Children’s tea sets have always been collectible, and you can’t believe how any of them made it through the test of time. Today is a plastic world, and I can’t even imagine my children playing with such fragile china. But for many years children did, and lots are available today.
The value on it was affordable. I found them to be in the range of $30 to $40 for a four-piece set such as yours. If they have grilled plates or tureens the value goes higher. As with everything the common pieces don’t have the most value. It’s the add-on pieces that do.
I hope you plan to pass on the tea set and your memories of it to someone in your family or someone who would appreciate it. 
 
Donna Welch has spent more than 20 years in the antiques and collectibles field and owns From Out Of The Woods Antique Center in Goffstown (fromoutofthewoodsantiques.com). She is an antiques appraiser and instructor. To find out about your antique or collectible, send a clear photo of the object and information about it to Donna Welch, From Out Of The Woods Antique Center, 465 Mast Road, Goffstown, N.H., 03045. Or email her at footwdw@aol.com or drop by the shop (call first, 624-8668). 





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