"I purchased a lobster two quart casserole. It is off-white. The bottom is embossed with KENWOOD and ovenware. It has 904 and U.S.A. and the letters R.A. inscribed and I believe handwritten. The top is particularly interesting! The lobster is still white; it is quite a bit smaller than the lobster on my black 904. The rear legs (4 on each side) are individual legs. The "tentacles" are shaped differently than the other lobsters in our collection. It certainly appears to be an early version in the development stage. Looking at the rear legs on the others it is clear that someone figured it would be cheaper to paint the legs on one piece rather than having separate legs. I'll be happy to send you pictures, if interested. The reproductions are definitely cooling the market place. I hope all is going well with you."
Doug and I have both been getting emails about the "newest" line of
reproduction Corn King on Ebay - marked but incorrectly and remarkably close to the authentic corn. So sad as this discourages so many collectors from continuing to ad to their collection. Please check Doug's site for updated pictures and markings on these pieces.
Fake Corn King sugar shaker
Ed wrote from Florida about these pieces
"Anne just read that a lot of re-golded and re-fired pieces of Shawnee are
coming out of somewhere in Kentucky. I saw numerous pieces of King and Queen corn that a dealer is selling in Gainesville, FL that are reproductions. You
can't tell from the originals except that they look as if they came from the factory yesterday! Watch out for those fakes. They are the best I have seen by far."
The fake chanticleers continue to grace Ebay but collectors seem to be more
astute in avoiding them. I notice a gold trim Muggsy that looked pretty good
for a fake but the decals were wrong and the head had an enormous amount of
black paint, it appeared the bow was almost black but Doug thinks it could
have been a poor shot - he tried to adjust the picture to determine if that was
the case, but no luck. Have any of you seen fake gold Muggsy's close to the
A couple of collectors have emailed looking for an apple blossom Smiley
water pitcher - there seems to be some confusion - to my knowledge there is NO
true apple blossom pitcher, just the clover bud BECAUSE to qualify as an apple
blossom it would have the different jeweled green leaves and a lighter pink bud where the clover bud is - I have not heard nor seen ever decorated like that which of course doesn't mean there couldn't be one out there somewhere but very unlikely. It is really just the Winnie and Smiley jars that fall in to this decorating anomaly whether intentional back in the day or just a variation during a design change. In my collection I have a clover bud water pitcher that is most definitely typical clover bud BUT it is painted in the shape of an apple - looks like a red delicious apple over the raised bud. Strictly a painters variation.
Rhonda sent in a picture of a deer figurine with a tear on the cheek -
interesting positioning for a paint droplet. I hate to recall pieces I left behind over the years because of an inadvertent drop of paint that was a factory blemish - I caution collectors today to not be so particular as to leave behind such pieces - we tend to forget this was dime store pottery and not fine china in it's day!!!!
Rhonda also included pictures of her apple blossom Smiley and gold apple
Winnie cookie jars - they really display the striking difference in the color of
the leaves for those who have not seen the pieces in person
Another collector discussing the fakes in Shawnee Smiley and Winnies -
interesting comments - we were discussing the likelihood of gold Clover Bud
pieces being re-golded - decals help identify an era but with the professionals
out there re-golding items, the Clover Bud Smiley pieces would be the most
profitable pieces to be tampered with hence beware of who you purchase from.
Even If you start with a genuine jar, I believe it would be almost impossible to be reproduced without some flaws. It probably could be done if you spend enough time and money to do it. So if you were able to get the original molds maybe even the jars. However I don’t think it would be profitable. I once spoke to a pottery expert who had a lot of experiences with clay pottery and she said one of the problems that of producing from original jars is that the paint is under the glaze. To make her example a little easier to understand is that they did not actually use blue paint under the glaze to produce a blue piece, but rather a chemical solution that when applied to green ware and then placed in an oven at very specific temperatures and time period produce the beautiful almost translucent white we are so use to seeing on Shawnee pottery. Oh there is one other trick you must use the exact clay that was used by Shawnee. Of course blue, red, green, yellow, etc. were different solutions that would be very difficult reproduce to get the exact solution. She stated
that this is why different pottery companies got their source clay to make green ware usually close to their factory and this why each pottery company had their very own unique look. I ask her if this could be reproduced today and she answered yes, if you had a huge budget, & plenty of time, that an exact match could not be produce, but so close it could not be detected by the human eye. So you see there are just to many variables. So as a diligent collector we should always be able to find most fakes. Especially with the help of people like you & Doug keeping us advised in the different variations of the fakes."
The apple really cannot be faked since it is a totally different colored leaf - the biggest concern is applying gold over the jars - decals are a dead giveaway but as they perfect the gold application, the rouge cheeks are the only other main challenge on the jars, one has to pay close attention as to eyebrows, etc and the normal coloring on the tops of the hats on Winnie etc - hands on is so much easier to tell than from a picture. Scary what can be done to a genuine jar!
The clover bud line is more likely to have pour lines - faint brown staining - must have been the era they were made as rare to find on other jars in the line,
As usual it is buyer beware and please keep checking Doug's web site as he
does a wonderful job of alerting collectors to problems with reproductions,
items that are commonly misidentified as Shawnee - once again buy what you
like, just don't sellers convince you something is Shawnee because it makes the item more desirable!!!
Any interest in trying again to start up a buy and sell feature to the newsletter, I have a lot of inquiries from collectors and plan to sell a few pieces of my collection - also have items I know collectors are looking to add the their collections. Let me know!
Until next month - happy collecting.
If you have any thoughts on this piece we'd be glad to hear from you.
Also - The lobster shaker to the right is looking for a partner. If you have one to sell, please let me know.
Editor's Note - See, if you send in material you can receive special treatment.
One more item of interest - A new (to me) piece marked Great Northern, found at Springfield Extrav. The body of the pieces don't appear to be typical Shawnee, but the bottoms are quite Shawnee like. Any thoughts.