From the Worthologists’ Files: Zakłady Porcelany Stołowej Wałbrzych Set of China
One of the advantages of being an appraiser is the sheer volume of incredible things one comes across on a weekly basis. Not all are hugely valuable, antique, rare or even all that sought after. Many times their value is only sentimental, but they often come with priceless provenances. Our Worthologist file cabinet is a treasure chest of such items– appraisal requests from our clients ranging from stuffed aardvarks to folk art zithers, all of which I’ll cover here in this column.
The owners of this dinner service reported, “We inherited this from my Polish mother in law, who came from Europe after World War Two. The set came with place settings for 12, complete with serving dishes. What I have for each setting is: a cup/saucer, dinner plate, bread and butter plate, dessert plate and fruit dish. The serving pieces: meat platter, gravy boat/tray, open serving dish, covered serving dish. We’ve looked online, but I can find nothing on them…of course, I most likely do not know how to begin, much less, where.”
The problem our client found regarding finding information on this set is not that unusual. Information and reference material for pottery and porcelain markings on pieces from countries that were once formerly part of the Soviet Union and its satellite states is not always easy to find. The company records were often destroyed or lost due to neglect when under Communist control.
According to the information we have on this marking, this set is fairly new as these sets go. The mark on it was first used in 1952 and the company that made it, Zakłady Porcelany Stołowej Wałbrzych, was under state control in Poland until 1992.
Values for post war dinner services like this have been in decline in recent years due to estate clearances of the World War Two generation flooding a market with few eager buyers. We’ve included some comparable examples to give you an idea of the current market and demand. Below we have a couple of examples from our Worthopedia.
This set sold for $562.50 in August of 2012.
This set sold for $324 in April of 2017.
Mike Wilcox, of Wilcox & Hall Appraisers, is a Worthologist who specializes in Art Nouveau and the Arts and Craft movement. He can be reached through his website Antique-Appraise.com.
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