KOVEL; Egg cups are originally from France, have made their way into the Victorian table service | Community


You’ve heard of philately (collecting stamps) and numismatics (collecting coins and medals), but what about pocillovy? Derived from the Latin words for “small cup” and “egg”, “pocillovy” is the word for the collection of egg cups. It is said that the egg cups originate from France. King Louis XV (1715-1774) made them popular. They later made their way into Victorian dinner services, where almost every type of food had its own special dish and utensils.

British makers quickly realized that these little ceramic mugs would make great keepsakes, and people started collecting them. Egg cups are still made and collected, and have adapted to changing styles of ceramics.

This egg cup with a stylized chicken head, wings and tail, called the “Hen Egg Cup,” sold for $ 2,080 at Palm Beach Modern Auctions in Florida. It was designed by François-Xavier Lalanne, a 20th-century French sculptor, whose designs were often made to look like animals. With his wife and collaborator Claude, he often creates fanciful and surrealist sculptures. Its playful and modernist style is seen in the solid white color and the stylized features of the egg cup.

Question: About 20 years ago my wife and I inherited a grandfather clock. It is approximately 7 1/2 feet tall. Part of the top face of the clock rotates with different scenes as time passes. At the very top of the face are the words “A. Willard Boston.” The clock is wound up with a key which lifts two weights. It needs to be rolled up once a week and holds the weather pretty well. Its gongs are tuned every hour. Can you give us some information about this clock?

A: Three generations of the Willard family made clocks. Benjamin Willard learned to make clocks and opened a workshop on his Massachusetts farm in the 1740s, where his four sons, Benjamin Jr., Simon, Aaron, and Ephraim, learned watchmaking. The three older brothers opened stores in Boston: Benjamin Jr. in 1770, Aaron in 1785, and Simon in 1788. Simon was best known and patented several inventions, including the banjo clock. Aaron, the maker of your clock, has made hundreds of banjo clocks, shelf clocks, and tall case clocks (another name for a grandfather clock). They auction for a few hundred to several thousand dollars. If you are considering selling your clock, you should contact an auction house that recently had sales that included grandfather clocks or a store that sells expensive clocks. The rotating dial with scenes adds extra value, so your clock should sell for a high price.

Question: Twenty years ago, I bought three sets of fabric bound Japanese plaid shirts. One of them has a note from the dealer that says “Rikka Shinan (an introduction or guide to the art of flower arranging)” and “the date 1688”. All books are made of very fine parchment type paper. Who would be interested in these, and what could they be worth?

A: Rikka is the oldest form of ikebana, the classic art of Japanese flower arrangement. The term means “standing flowers”. It includes flowers, branches and leaves in tall and vertical arrangements. The book you mentioned is listed on the International Society of Ikebana Research website (ikebana.link). The company may be able to give you information about the books and their value.

Question: My mother bought a glass vase in France in 1918. It is marked “Véritable Dolhain Wirths”. I searched for information about the manufacturer and could not find any. Can you help?

A: Not much is known about the manufacturer who used this brand. “Genuine” seems to mean the authenticity of the piece. Sometimes the words “authentic” or “echt” (which means “for real” in Dutch) are used on the mark instead of “genuine”. Dolhain is a region of Belgium that is part of the city of Limburg. “Wirths” might be the name of the company, but there is no record of it. Names that cannot be identified have been used on counterfeits sold in gift shops or flea markets. Words like “genuine”, “genuine” or “real” have been used to deceive the customer. Important pieces are usually marked with a known name. Parts from unknown manufacturers sell at low prices. Vases bearing this mark sold for between $ 10 and $ 25.

POINT: Tradition says that the best place in a house for a grandfather clock is where it can be seen as soon as you enter the house.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer readers’ questions sent to the column. Send a letter with a question describing the size, material (glass, pottery) and what you know about the item. Include only two pictures, the object and a close up of any markings or damage. Make sure your name and return address are included. By submitting a question you are giving full permission to use any Kovel product. Names, addresses or e-mail addresses will not be published. We do not guarantee return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The questions you answered will appear in Kovels Publications. Write to Kovels, The Daily Times, King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 or email us at collectorsgallery@kovels.com.


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