Antique Appraisals

What’s It Worth?: British arts magazine, brewer’s pottery

What’s It Worth?

Now 165 years old, this English book is a compilation of magazines.
Now 165 years old, this English book is a compilation of magazines. Contributed photos

An old book of 19th century magazines and a vase from a pottery maker in the western United States are the subjects of today’s What’s It Worth? One has something to do with the first world’s fair, the other is from a place better known for a brewery.

Q. I really like old books, both for the history they may contain and their interesting illustrations. This one was purchased at a bookstore in Eastern Washington many years ago and I don’t know much about it. The title is Illustrated Exhibitor and it seems to be a collection of magazines, all bound together. Can you tell me more? — Fred in Kennewick

A. This is a large book and it is from England. Measuring 11 by 8 inches, it has high-quality leather binding and dates to 1852.

The full name is The Illustrated Exhibitor and Magazine of Art. It has a very interesting backstory, related to what is generally considered to be the first world’s fair.

The Magazine of Art was a monthly, illustrated journal published in London. Devoted to the visual arts, it included reviews of exhibitions and articles about artists, along with some poetry. It was lavishly illustrated.

The origins go back to 1851, when the publisher — Cassell — began a journal covering the Great Exposition of that year. Also called the Crystal Palace Exhibition, that first world’s fair was sponsored and supported by Prince Albert and staged on the grounds of what is now Hyde Park in London.

In 1852, Cassell issued this bound compilation of the magazines. One page of the book is always commented on by reviewers and readers.

Page 337 has one of the historical illustrations that Fred mentions in his question. It is a 1852 engraving of The Funeral Procession of the Great Duke of Wellington. That fold-out plate measures 9 by 13 inches and was famous in its day. Wellington had defeated Napoleon at Waterloo almost 40 years earlier and was still a national hero.

Value depends on condition, and we’ve seen asking prices ranging from $10 in very poor state to $400 for nearly pristine condition. This book appears to be in very good shape and we’d value it between $100 and $200.

Q. Our orange pottery vase measures 6 inches high. We think its very attractive, but the mark has caused some confusion. On the bottom, a stamped mark reads “Coors Golden Colorado Pottery.” Is that the beer maker? Was this a sideline, or was it made by someone else? — Jan in Kennewick

A. In 1910, when he expanded into ceramics, Adolph Coors had been in the beer-making business for almost 40 years. The brewery was, and still is, in Golden, about 30 minutes drive east of Denver.

Golden is where his new pottery operation was too. Coors had purchased the Herold China and Pottery Company, also of Golden. He bought it from a man named Joseph Herold, who had been associated with the famous Roseville Pottery of Ohio before he moved west.

By the 1920s and in to the 1930s, Coors made an Arts and Crafts-style line of pottery. Before 1930, almost all of Coors’ production in that style was matte finish, like this vase.

Coors Pottery named its various shapes — and there were many — after geographic locations and cities in Colorado. This one is “Boulder.”

About 10 years ago, What’s It Worth? answered another reader’s question about a vase in the “Golden” shape.

Coors had as many as 50 shapes, all with names. Some are more popular with today’s collectors than others, but all have value. The firm also had a very popular line of dinnerware called “Rosebud.” It was made up until 1939. We see many Coors ceramic products here in the West.

The firm is still in business today as CoorsTek. They make a wide range of ceramic items, from aerospace mirrors to X-ray tubes.

And, of course, Coors still makes their “Banquet” beer in Golden, although they are now a part of the giant Canadian group, Molson.

Values for Coors’ Arts and Crafts-style pottery have slipped in recent years.

Today, this vase would make about $35 in an online auction, and might be seen at a slightly higher price in a shop or at an antiques show.

Terry K. Maurer, Tri–Cities personal property appraiser, is a senior member of the Certified Appraisers Guild of America. For possible use in a future column, direct questions on your antiques and collectibles to What’s It Worth? by email to tchwhatsitworth@gmail.com.

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