Question: A few years ago, I purchased a three-piece set of blue children’s dishes — a plate, bowl and mug — at a thrift shop. Each is decorated with a white rabbit in its center. “ANNA” is printed on the border of each item and “Her Plate,” “Her Bowl” and “Her Mug” is printed on each corresponding piece. Although all are marked “Paul Revere Pottery,” the shop’s clerk said the set was made by a group called the Saturday Evening Girls. However, she was unable to tell me anything more, and I hope you can. — S.F., Ocean City
Answer: Your circa-1920s child’s breakfast set was made by women who worked at Boston’s Paul Revere Pottery. Originally known as the Saturday Evening Girls, most of the young ladies were daughters of Jewish or Italian parents newly arrived in America.
Founded during the 1890s by wealthy philanthropist Helen Osborne Storrow, librarian Edith Guerrier and artist Edith Brown, the club offered after-hours cultural and artistic activities for the women who labored long hours daily for little pay in Boston’s sweatshops.
By 1909, the club’s founders had purchased a house near the Boston church where Paul Revere hung his signal lanterns. There, they installed a kiln and began teaching their students the art of creating pottery tableware and decorative objects that were sold to the public. Soon, Paul Revere Pottery’s innovative program was providing financially rewarding employment for the potters whose craftsmanship was honed daily.
In 1915, the shop was moved to a suburban location, where it operated until 1942. Today, a number of the objects created by the women at Paul Revere Pottery can be viewed at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.
Recently, a Paul Revere Pottery breakfast set made for a small boy by the Saturday Evening Girls sold for $550.
Question: I own a group of Swarovski crystal animal figures collected by my late mother. My favorite is a tiny “Dumbo” elephant with blue eyes and frosted hat and tail. It is numbered “764ONR100001.” Information you may be able to provide about Swarovski, the figure’s age and possible worth as a collectible will be appreciated. — E.L., Gloucester Township
Answer: Established in Austria in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski (1862-1956), the Swarovski glassworks company initially produced fine-cut glass objects at a leased factory, later replaced by a new Swarovski building.
From its early days, the company also made crystal items shipped worldwide, despite occasional factory closings required by two World Wars and the Great Depression.
During the 1950s, there was extensive demand for haute couture crystal jewelry, initiated by the exhibition of beautiful pieces made for leading ladies in motion pictures. When Swarovski crystal figurines debuted in 1987, the small, sparkling treasures prompted a worldwide collecting market and the creation of the Swarovski Crystal Society.
Your Dumbo figurine, representing the engaging hero of the 1941 Disney movie, is one of many copyrighted Disney characters sold at Disney parks that were created for Swarovski by Spanish glass artists, brothers Tomas and Alfonso Arribas.
Swarovski’s Disney Dumbo, introduced in 1993, was retired in 1996. Prices paid for several boxed examples in perfect condition with all paperwork intact have ranged from $130 to $145 this year.
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