American art pottery artists often painted pictures on their vases, pitchers and other pieces. They painted bats, frogs, rabbits, birds and other animals in their natural form, as well as fantasy animals represented as well-dressed humanlike figures. The marks on these ceramics often indicate the age, company and artist, as well as factory information about clay or glazes. Robert Bruce Horsfall (1869-1948) was an artist at Cincinnati’s Rookwood factory in 1893 when he decorated a Standard Glaze pitcher with pictures of the Toad from “The Wind in the Willows,” the 1908 children’s classic by Kenneth Grahame. The finished pitcher was then sent to Gorham Manufacturing Co., where it was given a silver overlay. The piece sold for $4,375 at a March 2014 Rago Arts auction in Lambertville, N.J.
Q: I have a Lloyd Loom baby carriage that was bought for my dad when he was born in 1924. The inside has been re-covered, but everything else is original and is in very good condition. It has glass porthole-type windows in the side of the hood, a wooden handle and a brake. A metal tag reads, “Lloyd Loom Products” and “Method Patented Oct. 16, 1917.” Can you tell me the current value?
A: Marshall B. Lloyd (1858-1927) opened Lloyd Manufacturing Co. in Menominee, Mich., in 1907 and began making children’s wagons. In 1914 the company began making hand-woven wicker baby carriages. In 1917 Lloyd was granted a patent for a method of making a wickerlike material by weaving twisted brown wrapping paper around metal wires. He also invented a loom that wove the material. Lloyd Loom fabric is the name of the woven material. In 1919 Lloyd sold the patent for the process to a British furniture manufacturer. Your baby carriage was made between 1917, when the patent was issued, and 1924, the year your father was born. Today these carriages are not considered safe to use with a real baby, so they usually sell to doll collectors. It’s worth about $300.
Q: I have a Coca-Cola serving tray that matches those I have seen online. It’s from 1923 and pictures the “Flapper Girl.” How can I tell if it’s a reproduction or an original?
A: Coca-Cola’s early lithographed tin serving trays probably are the most desirable of Coke collectibles. An original 1923 Coca-Cola serving tray is rectangular and measures 13¼ inches high by 10½ inches wide. It’s worth close to $400 if it’s in near-mint condition. Most old trays aren’t near-mint, so even if yours is old, it probably won’t sell for that much. Reproductions of this tray have been made since the 1970s, some by Coca-Cola Co. Some reproductions are round or oval, some may be marked with phrases like “Reg. U.S. Patent Office,” and some may show a slightly altered image.