Q. Enclosed is a photo of a porcelain hot chocolate set that belonged to my grandmother. It has a chocolate pot, five cups and five saucers. The sixth cup and saucer were broken a long time ago. Each piece is decorated with a white background, apple blossoms and gold trim. The pot stands 9 1/2 inches tall, and the base is 5 inches in diameter. Marked in blue on the bottom of the pot, cups and saucers is the word "Nippon" and an image of the rising sun.
What can you tell me about my hot chocolate set?
A. Your hot chocolate set was made in Japan. "Nippon" is the Japanese word for Japan. The Nippon rising sun mark was used from around 1891 until 1921. In 1890, the United States passed The McKinley Tariff that required anything exported from a foreign country to the U.S. be marked with the country of origin. In 1921, the U.S. government decided that exports from Japan would be marked with "Japan" rather than "Nippon."
Your hot chocolate set is circa 1911. Similar sets can be seen selling on the internet in the range of $300 to $400.
Q. This mark is on the bottom of a stein that we have. It was purchased in an antiques shop in Germany in the 1990s when we visited family. The words "Western Germany -- 1/8 Ltr" are included with the mark. The stein has a pewter lid and is decorated with drinking scenes all in relief against a gray background. The height is 5 inches, including the lid.
Could you please tell something about the maker, age and value?
A. Your stein was made by Albert Jacob Thewalt Factory. It has made steins and giftware in Hohr, Grenzhause, Germany, since 1893. Objects marked "Western Germany" were made between 1949 and 1990. After World War II, Germany was divided into sections. West Germany was occupied by the United States, Britain and France. East Germany was occupied by Soviet Russia. The wall came down in 1990.
Thewalt produced stoneware steins that were often decorated with drinking scenes or pastoral scenes. In the mid-1940s, there was a renewed interest in beer steins, and the market rose among beer stein aficionados.
Your stein would probably be worth $25 to $50
• Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P.O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters.
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