“Official Price Guide to Collectibles”
Harry L. Rinker
The Royal China Company, located in Sebring, Ohio, utilized remodeled facilities that originally housed the Oliver China Company and later the E. H. Sebring Company. Royal China began operations in 1934. The company produced an enormous number of dinnerware patterns. The back of the piece usually contains the names of the shape, line, and decoration. In addition to many variations of company backstamps, Royal China also produced objects with private backstamps. All records of these markings were lost in a fire in 1970.
The company’s Currier and Ives pattern, designed by Gordon Parker, was introduced in 1949–50. Early marks were date coded. Other early 1950s patterns include Colonial Homestead and Old Curiosity Shop.
In 1964 Royal China purchased the French–Saxon China Company, Sebring, which it operated as a wholly owned subsidiary. On December 31, 1969, Royal China was acquired by the Jeannette Corporation. When fire struck the Royal China Sebring plant in 1970, Royal moved its operations to the French–Saxon plant. The company changed hands several times, being owned briefly by the Coca–Cola Company, the J. Corporation from Boston, and Nordic Capitol of New York, New York. Production continued until August 1986 when operations ceased.
Country collectors concentrate on specific patterns. Among the most favored are Bluebell (1940s), Currier and Ives (1949–50), Colonial Homestead (c1951–52), Old Curiosity Shop (early 1950s), Regal (1937), Royalty (1936), blue and pink willow ware (1940s), and Windsor.
Royal China patterns were widely distributed. Colonial Homestead was sold by Sears through the 1960s. The result is that pieces are relatively common and prices moderate.
Because of the ease of accessibility, only purchase pieces in fine to excellent condition. Do not buy pieces whose surface is marked or marred in any way.
Reference: Eldon R. Aupperle, A Collector’s Guide for Currier & Ives Dinnerware, published by author, 1996.