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Marble-Topped Dresser Was Made in the Victorian Era |

Marble-Topped Dresser Was Made in the Victorian Era

Q: This is a photo of the lower part of a Victorian marble-topped dresser with handkerchief drawers that I bought about a year ago. The upper portion has a mirror and candleholders on either side. All drawers have teardrop pulls, and the lower two have keyholes. The overall height is 85 inches tall. The piece is in excellent condition, and the marble has no cracks. The wood is walnut, and both the drawers and mirror frame are made of burled walnut panels. I think the piece was made around 1870.

What can you tell me about my dresser?

A: Your drop-center dresser flanked by double handkerchief drawers above two long drawers was made around 1875 during the late Victorian Renaissance Revival period of design. Teardrop pulls were a feature of the Eastlake period, which closely followed Renaissance Revival.

Your Victorian Renaissance Revival dresser with mirror would probably fetch $1,200 to $1,400 in an antiques shop.

Q: This mark is on the bottom of an ironstone-covered soup tureen that has been in our family for generations. It is solid white with an acorn finial on the lid, and it is in mint condition. I plan to give this family treasure to my daughter.

What can you tell me about the mark, its history and its value?

A: This is a registry mark issued by the United Kingdom Patent Office. Beginning at the top, the “IV” indicates that your tureen is ceramic. The letter “T” indicates that is was registered in 1867. The number “2” represents the day of the month. The number “1” is the parcel number, and “B” stands for the month of October. “Rd” means registered.

Ironstone china was patented in 1813 by potter Charles James Mason in Staffordshire, England. His patent expired around 1827, and English potters began producing their own ironstone. Ironstone dishes proved to be much stronger than porcelain and harder than earthenware. Some pieces were decorated with simple hand-decorated designs or transferware patterns. By 1840, ironstone dinnerware was exported to the United States. The simplicity of ironstone wares and ironstone’s durability were appealing to families in both England and the U.S. It wasn’t long before ironstone was made and marketed in the U.S. In the last half of the 19th century, large quantities of dinnerware and chamber sets were made for farming families.

Your soup tureen would probably be worth $75 to $125.

 Victorian Renaissance Revival dresser is circa 1875.  The strength and durability of ironstone wares appealed to families.

Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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