This set would probably fetch no more than $250 to $450 at auction.
Dear Helaine and Joe:
Could you tell me what my grandmother’s dish set is worth? I have all the pieces except for one cup.
J.H., Halifax, Mass.
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The question of how much this set is worth is somewhat trickier than it sounds. This set of attractive dinnerware has one value if J.H. is interested in selling it, but a significantly higher value if she wants to know the worth for insurance replacement purposes.
The marks on these pieces read “Genoa, J and G Meakin, Hanley, England.” The first notation, “Genoa,” is the name of the pattern, which was first made around the turn of the 20th century. We found a reference that some Meakin Genoa pattern pieces are marked with the design registry number “410020,”which indicates that the pattern was registered with the English patent office around 1904 or 1905.
“Genoa” is most commonly found in green, but blue was also made. Unfortunately, we cannot tell from the photographs whether these pieces are blue or green, but we are going to assume they are green.
Meakin is a very important name in the history of English ceramics. Alfred, Charles and Henry Meakin all worked in the Staffordshire district at different times, but the set in today’s question was made by J. and G. Meakin (named for brothers John and George Meakin), which was founded in 1851 and ran both the Eagle and the Eastwood works in Hanley, Staffordshire.
Meakin sold the Eastwood Pottery in 1958 and then enlarged its Eagle Pottery. The Wedgwood Group bought the company in 1970, and the Meakin name ceased to be used in 2000. The Eagle factory was closed in 2004 and was demolished in 2005.
Meakin made earthenware and ironstone, so the set in today’s question is not fine porcelain. If J.H. wanted to replace her 16-inch “Genoa”platter, it would probably cost her around $150, and the smaller platter we see in the photograph around $80. The three covered bowls would probably cost around $500, and each dinner plate $30. The missing cup should run in the $20-$25 range.
Replacing the gravy boat would cost about $100, and each 9-inch soup bowl around $28. The luncheon-sized plates (9-inch diameter) should be around $9 each, the salad plates (8-inch diameter) should be $8 and the individual fruit bowls $14.
The insurance replacement value of this set is probably in the $1,200-$1,500 range (or perhaps a bit more), but it is impossible to be more specific without an exact count and condition report. If J.H.’s desire is to sell this set, however, the value is much, much lower.
It is very difficult to sell sets of china unless they are very special, and while this one is attractive and has some nice pieces (the three covered bowls and the platters are a big plus), it is not one of those exceptional sets that can bring thousands of dollars when sold. In reality, this set would probably fetch no more than $250 to $450 at auction, and, frankly, we have seen some nice sets of Meakin sell at auction for less than $100.
(Helaine Fendelman and Joe Rosson are the authors of “Price It Yourself”(HarperResource, $19.95). Contact them at Treasures in Your Attic, PO Box 18350, Knoxville, TN 37928. Email them at email@example.com.)