Antique Waco China Tea Set (Complete Excellent Cond.)

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  • Item Category: Ceramics
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Jul 10,2009
  • Channel: Online Auction

This auction is for a complete salesman's sample tea set made by the Waco Pottery Company of East Liverpool, Ohio, and given to my mother (now 71) when she was born, by a friend of the family. It is not as small as a child's tea set, but slightly larger. From what we understand, it was designed as an example that salesmen used to show prospective buyers of the larger pieces.

When this set was given to my mother as a gift, she was a newborn (1937). This set was already almost 40 years old and my grandmother didn't want Mother to play with it for fear that she would break it. So it was kept in a box in the attic for years. Mother said they had one "tea party" with it and that was heavily supervised by Grandmother. Mother was barely allowed to touch it, even during the tea party. Other than that, it was put in the attic and forgotten.

So, this box has been in the attic a long time. Grandmother died last year at age 100, and when we were going through the attic, we found the tea set.

The tea set consists of a tea pitcher with lid, sugar bowl with lid, cream pitcher, finger bowl, 6 cups with handles, 6 saucers, and 6 biscuit plates. The biscuit plates are the only ones with the Waco logo, seen in one of the pictures. The rest of the set is completely blank on the bottom. This is white porcelain china with a gold leaf ring around the edge of the plates, gold leaf on all the handles of pitchers, cups, and knobs, and a gold painted design on the side.

It is made by the Waco Company of East Liverpool, Ohio, a region known as a major pottery capital in the United States. I tried to research this pottery a bit, but have been unable to find much information. However, one website had this little blurb about the mark on the bottom of the biscuit plates which I will quote directly:

This mark with the cipher ELP Co. and the words WACO China found on dinnerware made from 1896 to 1901. The company first made plain and decorated ironstone China. In 1896, it switched to making semivitreous dinnerware. A line of this china was named Waco. This pottery, the East Liverpool Pottery Company, was started by John W. and Robert Hall in East Liverpool, Ohio, in 1894. It merged with five other small potteries in 1901 to form the East Liverpool Potter ies Company. The Halls left the group in 1903 and started the more famous Hall China Company.

The condition of the china is very, very good. T is one slight scuff mark on the pitcher. I do not know if that could be cleaned. Not being skilled at such things, I think it best to leave that alone. I could find no chips on any of the china. T is one slight hairline crack - probably from heat - in the little fingerbowl-looking container. If I run my finger along this crack, I cannot feel a separation, but I can see it. A few spots of the gold leaf look slightly worn. T is a sort of spider webbing of the glaze coating. I don't know what the proper terminology is for that but please feel free to question me and I will do my best to answer any and all of your questions.

I have no idea of the value of this set, but I do know that I can find no one online who has it or anything like it. I shall start the bidding low and hope that a collector out t will be delighted. It does me no good sitting in the attic and my mother has outgrown her tea party days.

Shipping will be via US Priority Mail. I shall pack this very carefully using not only bubble wrap but foam rubber and other things to ensure that each piece is very cushioned. I will pack it as if gorillas are going to play with it in a cage, using as many engineering stress reduction packing techniques as I can devise.

I welcome questions. Thanks so much for your interest, and happy eBaying!