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Antiques Corner

Stumped by Stoneware

Question: I've never seen a stoneware jar such as this one. What can you tell me about how they were used -- especially how they were sealed? I can't tell if the date is 1809 or 1909. I hope you can shed some light on its age and value.

Click here for larger image. Click here for larger image.

Answer: Jacob Lutz and Joseph H. Schramm incorporated Lutz & Schramm Co. on March 1, 1900, in Pittsburgh, Pa. The company produced Diamond brand pickles and preserves in stoneware jars. The product was sealed with a glass lid held in place by a wire clamp. The patent date on your jar is July 13, 1909. Quart-size stoneware jars that retain their original glass lids (embossed with "Sherwood Patent Applied For") and original illustrated paper labels sell for $25 to $35 apiece. Schramm stoneware jars that no longer have their glass lids and original labels are hard sells at about half that amount.

-- By Tom Hoepf, associate editor of Auction Central News

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