ANTIQUES AND COLLECTING: Antique stoneware had roots in 19th-century New England

By Terry and Kim Kovel

Many 19th-century potteries and amateur artists made and decorated stoneware figures. This handmade ram sold at Conestoga Auctions for $144. (

Antique stoneware was often used in small local potteries in 19th-century New England. They made useful objects in molds and fanciful figurines and vases that could be decorated by hand. Bristol-slip glaze was popular because it was scratch-resistant and added color. One amateur artist made a resting ram to be used as a doorstop. The 9-inch hand-molded animal sold for $144, probably because it was missing part of his horn and an ear.


Q: I was left a Lane Cedar Chest that has an aroma tightness feature. The size of the chest is 17 1/2 inches high, 19 inches deep and 44 inches wide. The inside of the chest is in excellent condition, but the outside does have some wear on it. I’m not sure if it’s worth holding on to. Is it worth anything?

A: Lane started in 1912 as the Standard Red Cedar Chest Company in Altavista, Virginia. John Lane was president and his son, Ed, was vice president and general manager. It became The Lane Company in 1922.

The company was known for its cedar chests, which were often used as “hope chests” by brides-to-be. Lane began making occasional tables in 1951 and expanded to include lines of bedroom, living room and dining room furniture in the 1960s and ‘70s.

You can find the age of your Lane chest by looking for the serial number on the bottom. If you read the number backward, you will find the production date. For example, serial number 753150 indicates the chest was produced on 05/13/57. An extra digit at the end of the serial number is the plant number.

Lane cedar chests made before 1987 have the old-style locks that can latch shut and trap a child inside. Those locks should be removed or replaced. Value depends on style and condition. Some Lane chests sell for less than $50, others for over $100.


TIP: Take the glass covers on your light fixtures and wash them on the top rack of the dishwasher, but only if they are not painted or enameled. Use the lowest heat possible .



Royal Doulton, Bunnykins figurine, Halloween, DB 132, mouse popping out of jack-o’-lantern, orange pumpkin with yellow stripes, Graham Tongue, 1993-97, 3 1/4 inches, $60.

Rookwood vase, forest scene, vellum glaze, slightly tapered form, flared and rolled rim, marked, Frederick Rothenbusch, 1920, 7 3/4 inches, $685.

Jewelry, pin, grasshopper playing lute, figural, 18K yellow gold, enamel details, ruby eyes, Italy, 1970s, 2 x 1 1/4 inches, $935.


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