August 12, 2022

Antiques & Collecting: Satsuma Vase

Satsuma pottery is from Japan. It was made in the 1860s and was sometimes purchased by American visitors to Japan and brought home. During World War I, American housewives who enjoyed hand-painting china could not get any from Germany, so they imported undecorated white Satsuma and made what is now called “American Satsuma” with stylized art deco decorations. But by the 1950s, the antique Satsuma was rediscovered by collectors and the pottery from Asia was prized. Old Satsuma has a creamy, slightly yellow background decorated in red, green, blue and orange, and highlighted with gold paint.

A rare type of old Satsuma made in the Meiji period (1868-1912) is called Reticulated Satsuma because it has not only painted decorations, but also designs made of tiny, shaped holes. A vase of this type needs a liner to hold water if it is used for flowers. Reticulated china is very complicated and difficult to make. Large pieces often collapse in the kiln.

Cottone Auctions had a spring sale that featured a 19-inch vase with an 11-inch diameter that was totally covered with a painting of iris leaves and flowers, and a partial design of a woman in a garden painted over a black background. The vase came with the original insert and was signed by the artist. The successful auction bid of $14,160 was over the high estimate of $10,000. Look for the Shimazu crest mark on old Satsuma. It is a circle with a cross inside.

I have a “long case” clock with “Edm Smith, Edm St Bury” on the face. I think it means it was made by Edmund Smith in Bury St Edmunds, but I can find very little information about it. Can you tell me more about it? I’m also trying to establish a value.

Long case clocks were first made in England about 1660. They are usually at least 6 feet tall and have a long case that encloses the weights and pendulum. They are also called “tall case clocks” or “grandfather clocks.” The term “grandfather clock” became popular because of the song “My Grandfather’s Clock,” which was written in 1876. Edmund Smith was a watch and clockmaker in Bury, St. Edmunds, from 1753 to 1779. Your long case clock, in good working condition, might sell at auction for about $1,500 to $2,000. It should have a chime for the hour or more often.

Current Prices

Lamp, electric, black enameled metal pole and cap, telescoping, white plastic diffuser shade, G. Thurston for Lightolier, 51 inches, $160.

Mechanical bank, Trick Dog, clown holds hoop, dog jumps through and deposits coin, cast iron, Shepard Hardware, 3 x 8 3/4 inches, $340.

Advertising clock, 7UP Likes You, metal body, glass face, logo, bubbles, orange ground, green border, marked, Pam Clock Co., Brooklyn, 15 inches diameter, $675.

Doll, Madame Alexander, Elaine, hard plastic, Tosca wig, walking body, white organdy gown, hat, pearl necklace, c. 1954, 18 inches, $1,095

TIP: Dust your antiques regularly but carefully. Dust leads to mold growth and attracts insects.

Terry and Kim Kovel

For more collecting news, tips and resources, visit © 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.