Discover Vintage America - JUNE 2016

Kitchen items date from early 20th century

Q: Hi Michelle, we found these items at my mom's house: a vintage scale and an aluminum tray with a porcelain plate inset in the center. Can you please tell me something about them and what they are worth? Thank you.

A: I will start with your hammered aluminum tray with the American Limoges plate insert. The back of the plate tells us a lot of information.

When seeing the word "Limoges" on an item, one automatically thinks of the high-end bone china and porcelain made in the Limoges region of France. When you see "American Limoges" on a piece of china we see that we Americans aren't so dumb after all. American Limoges started as the Sterling China Co. out of Sebring, Ohio around 1901. They produced quality dinnerware and assorted items for the American market. When it became evident that the people preferred imported dinnerware from Europe the Sterling China Co. re-branded itself in 1904 with a name change to the "Limoges China Co." and started producing less expensive, semi-porcelain products, which flew off the shelves like crazy.

The word "Triumph" that appears as part of the mark on the plate refers to the "Triumph" shape that Limoges China introduced in 1937. This shape was designed by Victor Schreckengost, who is considered to be one of the most important ceramists of his day.

The plate also gives us the pattern name, Imperial Victorian. The gilt detailing on the plate is 22K white gold. We can see that the plate was made for Farberware, another iconic U.S. company. The aluminum surrounding the plate is nice and bright with hammered handles and what looks to be a poppy design.

Farberware began operation in 1900 by S.W. Farber, a tinsmith who set up shop in a basement in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He pounded sheets of copper and brass and created a variety
of vases, bowls and gift items.

As the company grew so did the product line and the creation of collaborative efforts with other companies, such as Limoges China in this case. Farberware is still in operation today.
Now to move on to your vintage kitchen scale made by "John Chatillon & Sons" of New York, which began operation in 1835. The company had a rich and varied history with a primary focus on manufacturing weight scales. They also perfected and introduced the spring balance scale. The company also manufactured high quality cutlery and military knives between 1900 and the late 1950s, including "Foster Brothers" cutlery, once one of the world's foremost names in professional cutlery for chefs and the meat-cutting trade.

Your vintage kitchen scale will weigh up to five pounds and is in pretty good condition. It still retains the original paint with some loss around the dial. The lettering and numbers are still bold and readable.

Your Limoges China Co. / Farberware tray dates to the late 1930s-40s and has a resale value of $20-$25.

The John Chatillon & Sons five-pound kitchen scale dates circa 1920. Scales in good condition are very collectible and yours has a resale value of $40-$45.

Note: All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawnshop prices are about half 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 to Please keep queries to one question; questions without photos of the item may not be answered. 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 for a one-on-one appraisal.