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In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
Antiques Corner

Not Fit for Flowers

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Question: The coloring on this 4-inch-high vase transitions from green at the bottom to white at the top, with gold around the rim and a white interior. What is the age of this piece, and how much is it worth?

Answer: In the days before indoor plumbing, water had to be carried into the home. Basic items for personal use were a pitcher and basin. Pottery companies expanded what were called chamber toilet sets to include a covered chamber pot, a covered slop jar, a smaller pitcher for hot water, a covered soap dish, a toothbrush vase and a mug. Sears, Roebuck & Company catalogs from the early 1900s carried several English- and American-made semi-porcelain toilet sets for $8.25 or less. You have what appears to be the toothbrush vase from such a toilet set. Although not marked with a manufacturer's name or country of origin, the vase is likely American-made from the early 20th century. Expect to pay $10 to $25 for a similar stray piece.

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

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