ANTIQUES AND COLLECTING: Experts can tell old from new spatterware

By Terry and Kim Kovel

This 11-inch-high antique rainbow spatterware water pitcher with bands in five different colors sold for more than $5,000 at a Conestoga auction last year. (Photo credit: Kovels)

It is easy to guess what this is — a rainbow spatterware water pitcher. But how old is it? Spatterware was first made in the late 1700s in England, but most found today dates from about 1800 to 1850 in Staffordshire, England, made to sell in the United States.

Unfortunately, the word “spatterware” now has several meanings, probably because novice collectors didn’t realize there is a difference between spatter and spongeware. Another hazard is that there are fairly good copies of spatterware made today to be used in the kitchen. Experts can tell the old from the new by the shape, weight and the white glaze color. They also know the difference in the look of a spattered paint mark and the mark left by a paint-dipped sponge.

Old rainbow spatter like this pitcher is expensive, and the double G-scroll handle is an added value feature. This piece sold with the buyers’ premium for $5,227.


Q: When I bought my beauty shop in 1972, it had a Coke machine. It was made by the Vendo Company of Kansas City. Cokes cost 15 cents. But it isn’t the typical red-and-white Coke machine — the front looks like wood and has eight panels with black trim. The machine still works, and I have it in my home. Could you tell me its value?


A: The Vendo company was started in the late 1930s in Kansas City, Missouri. The Vendo Model 56 vending machine was designed about 1956 and made until the mid-1960s. The machine held 56 bottles, sizes 8 ounces to 12 ounces, in up to seven varieties. It was offered in red and white, red and white with woodgrain, and with woodgrain “decorator doors” that made it look like a cabinet rather than a brightly colored soda machine. Styles included Danish, Provincial, Colonial, Traditional and Mediterranean, like yours.

Vintage Vendo soda vending machines in old and worn but working condition that advertise brands like Coca-Cola or Pepsi sell from about $250 to about $500. Coca-Cola versions are worth the most. Restored examples sell into the thousands. Without product advertising, they are worth less, about $100 to $300.



Wood candlesticks, carved, Wilhelm Schimmel style, central ball, tapered sections, stepped base, 1900s, 10 1/4 inches, pair, $95.

Alarm clock, travel, gilt brass case, square, white dial with Roman numerals, Swiss quartz movement, marked Tiffany & Co., c.1970, 4 inches, $115.

Toy, Playland Merry-Go-Round, children on horses, multicolored, tin lithograph, windup, J. Chein & Co., box, 11 x 11 inches, $270.

Weathervane, golfer, silhouette, swinging driver, golf bag with clubs standing behind, copper, verdigris patina, 25 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches, $445.


TIP: Store plates vertically in a rack or stack them with a felt plate protector between each plate.


The 2022 “Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide” contains more than 12,500 all-new prices — more than any other guide — with every price based on actual sales, never estimates. Available in bookstores and online, it makes a great gift.


© 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.

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