Question: A few years ago, cleaning out a barn in Devola, I came across a stoneware jar marked E.C. Phelps, Parkersburg, Virginia. My wife today, uses it as an umbrella stand at the front door. Can you tell me anything about the jar, and where I could sell it? - S.W., Marietta.
Answer: Your stoneware jar is very rare. It was made in Parkersburg around 1850, long before West Virginia became a state in 1863. E.C. Phelps, I found, was actually a grocer in Parkersburg according to census records, not a potter himself, but rather a merchant who employed a pottery to produce his ware. Phelps I found through census records had an employee named Nathaniel Clark who was known to run a pottery in Parkersburg from the 1850s to around 1860. Much of his work is also rare and marked N. Clark, Parkersburg, Virginia. To sell your stoneware jug for top dollar, contact American Pottery Auctions at (716) 759-2361 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q.: I have two vintage postcards, one is marked Fischer Studios, Marietta, Ohio, the other one is marked Smith and Urlin. They were found inside a Victorian photo album I bought, which is filled with photos apparently of a missionary family from Ohio. Can you tell me anything about these items? - (email from J.D. in Oregon)
A.: The Fischer postcard showing a group of guys holding bugles in their hands I believe may be of the Jewells Juvenile Drum Corps that was first organized in Marietta in 1903. Harry Fischer was a well known photographer in Marietta from 1901 up to 1949. I was also able to identify the name Urlin. Urlin owned a photograph studio in Columbus, and was also instrumental in the founding of Grandview Heights in 1906, a suburb of Columbus.
Q.: I have several pieces of Roseville Pottery that I'm interested in selling. Can you tell me a good place to sell it? - G. E. Beverly.
A.: There is an auction house in Cincinnati that has set world's record in the sale of Roseville and other Ohio pottery. Contact Don Treadway at Treadway Galleries at (513) 321-6742 or email him at email@example.com
- Matchbook (1953) advertising Marietta Williamson Chevrolet $9.50.
- Lamp 9 1/2 inch Frog Lamp (Dan Mercer), Parkersburg $45.
- Fenton punch bowl Set (15) piece hobnail milkglass, 12 cups, platter, ladle, $265.
- Churn (Stoneware) 3 gallon, 12 3/4 tall, $348.
- Coca Cola clipboard celebrating 50th anniversary of Parkersburg plant, $20.
- Spaceship cookie jar, American Bisque, $205.
- Press photo (1954) of coal company conveyor belt Marietta, 4 1/2 miles long largest in the world, carrying 800 tons coal a day, $14.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. When writing, send a complete description of the item, along with size, color, any markings on the item along with condition of the item.