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Talking Turkey

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Question: This turkey planter is a cute addition to my Thanksgiving tablescape. The bottom is marked Relpo 5503. How would it originally have been sold, and what is it worth?

Answer: Long before Benjamin Franklin ever promoted the turkey to be the national bird, the gobbler was a symbol of Thanksgiving. This planter or centerpiece, which retailed for a dollar or two, was made in Japan in the 1950s for Relpo, an importer based in Chicago. One source says Relpo was a shortened name of Reliable Glassware & Pottery Company, which was founded in 1933. The Relpo name is well known among collectors of ceramic lady head vases. Relpo turkey planters in several sizes and varieties are readily available on internet sites. Prices for the 5-inch 5503 model range from $10 to $25. As with all ceramics, be watchful of chips, which are often found on the edges of the feathers.

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