Furniture styles in America are named for monarchs or makers who influenced the shapes. William and Mary (1690-1720), Queen Anne (1720-1750) and Victorian (1830-1900) are all styles named for monarchs. Chippendale (1750-1775), Hepplewhite (1785-1800) and Sheraton (1800-1820) are named for makers.
English books and auction catalogs use slightly different names for furniture periods. They list such styles as Stuart (1603-1714), Georgian (1714-1810), Victorian (1837-1901) and Edwardian (1901-1910). Occasionally, the names of other monarchs are used. The William IV style was named for the few years William reigned (1830-1837). It is a bridge between the Regency (1810-1830) and Victorian periods. Pieces made with elements of both periods are referred to as William IV style. He disliked ostentation and influenced a simpler look. When his niece, Victoria, became Queen, she influenced a style that has remained popular for more than 100 years.
Q: In 1958, my aunt gave me a large, cup-shaped vase decorated with painted Disney cartoon characters. She said Walt Disney had these pots made by Hagen-Renaker as gifts to Disney employees. My aunt worked for Hagen-Renaker in Monrovia, Calif., at the time. There's a tiny, circular gold seal on the bottom that includes the words "Walt Disney" and a copyright symbol. What was Hagen-Renaker's connection with Disney?
A: Hagen-Renaker Inc. was founded in 1945 and is still working. It moved from Monrovia to San Dimas, Calif., in 1966. Hagen-Renaker first made licensed Disney character figures from 1955 to 1961. During this same period, Disney banks and cookie jars were made by other potteries for Hagen-Renaker. All of these ceramic items are popular collectibles today. Your vase might have been a special product made by Hagen-Renaker or by another pottery under contract with Hagen-Renaker.
Q: I have heard of rose bowls and nut cups, but I have never heard of orange bowls and orange cups. I recently saw them advertised in a collectors newspaper. Can you help?
A: The reason you haven't heard of an orange cup or orange bowl is because they're no longer included in sets of china dinnerware. Orange cups were never common, but during the early 1900s they were made and used to serve orange halves at the breakfast or dinner table. This was during a period shortly after Americans who lived north of Florida and east of California had been introduced to citrus fruit. At the end of the 19th century, refrigerated railroad cars kept the fruit fresh enough to ship across the country. An orange cup has at least three prongs around the inside edge to hold the orange half in place. An orange bowl is a deep, oval bowl used to serve whole or sectioned oranges.
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