July 2024

Michelle Knows Antiques

Buy What You Love

by Michelle Staley

Happy July, everyone. By now all of you gardeners and farmers should be enjoying the fruits of your labor. Our peppers are setting on nicely yet everything else, especially the tomatoes are just teasing us. There seems to be more garage sales this summer than last. I always stop but am more selective in what I purchase. A few weeks ago when driving through a neighborhood, I picked a 1950s pink formica top table off of the curb. It has a bit of rust on the chrome legs, which is an easy fix. Score!

Q: I purchased this beautiful cup, saucer, and spoon set by Franz Co. at an auction. I couldn’t pass it up and paid only $15 for it. The dimensions are 6.25 in. L x 5 in. W x 3 in. H. Even if I overpaid for it, I am still happy with my purchase. I would love to find other pieces. Thank you for any information you can give me.

A: Your precious set is from the Franz Wildlife Wonders Series. There are some wonderful and very intricate pieces in this series. Franz Collection is a Taiwanese porcelain brand, founded in 2001 by Franz Chen (Chen Li-Heng). With a degree in German, one of his professors gave the founder a German name, “Franz.” The founder decided to use his German name for the name of his company. The products of this company include porcelain tableware, home decor, art, and jewelry. Franz Collection Inc. is headquartered in Taipei, with the production and decorating in China. Decades of experience are required to understand and successfully employ the combination of mixing, firing, casting and coloring techniques used by Franz. China has the best clay for creating such delicate and beautiful wares. The backstamp shows a blue seagull, the company name, and two lozenges with Asian text.

The company has won several prestigious awards for the quality and design of their products. The backstamp tells us this is not an old piece of porcelain, but nonetheless Franz Collection wares are very desirable and larger pieces such as teapots reflect how highly sought after Franz creations are. The company is still in operation.

The current resale value for your cup, saucer, and spoon in the ladybug and daisy pattern is $150. Not bad at all for a $15 investment.

A Lambert push plow. (Image courtesy of the author)

Cup, saucer, and spoon set by Franz Co.

A cup, saucer, and spoon set from the Franz Collection, decorated in a ladybug and daisy pattern from the collection’s Wildlife Series. (Image courtesy of the question submitter)

*All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop, or other resale outlets. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawn shop prices are about ½ or less of resale value.

Michelle Staley is a Lenexa, KS-based dealer and researcher with 35 years of experience in the antique trade.

Send questions with photos to Michelle at michelle@discovervintage.com or TXSmichelle@gmail.com. Please keep queries to one question; questions without photos of the item may not be answered. There is no guarantee that your question will be answered or published.

Michelle is also available for consulting and extensive research work beyond this column. If you would like an appraisal on an antique or collectible please go to www.michellesantiqueappraisals.com for a one-on-one appraisal. Please note new web address.