Q: My dad gave me these seven plates and I just keep them boxed. Can you tell me anything about them?
A: Seen in images sent, our reader has plates from a dinnerware set by Taylor Smith and Taylor, an American china manufacturer.
We have no info on size, but they may be dinner plates. A back stamp indicates that the center image showing a Colonial woman in an early kitchen with open hearth is by TS and T designer Walter Teague.
In operation from about 1900 to 1981, the Chester, West Virginia, potter was one of many clustered in the Ohio Valley around the banks of the Ohio River. Potters discovered early on that clay from the area was abundant and well-suited to the making of china.
Glass makers also clustered in the area and, for most of a century, the Ohio River became the center of production for what’s now collectible glass and china. Sadly, almost all of those once-booming factories have closed and/or have been abandoned or destroyed.
Taylor Smith and Taylor made dinnerware and hotel ware, also toilet sets; at one point, the company made spittoons. Output was for utility. Wares were sold in five-and-dime stores, department stores and through catalogs. Their best known line was Lu-Ray Pastels, a solid color line popular in the 1930s and still collected.
In the early 1970s, the company was bought by Anchor-Hocking. In 1981, the plant closed, and by 2012 it was totally demolished.
“Conversation,” printed on a banner as part of the back stamp of the reader’s plates, was a Taylor Smith and Taylor line.
I suggest a look at replacements.com to see the wide variety of designs in Taylor’s output. When I checked, this pattern was not represented. Either fewer were made or the pattern is less popular. In any case, demand is not great.
On eBay, we saw more than 400 listings for Taylor Smith and Taylor china, including a platter in the reader’s pattern offered for $9.99. There were no completed sales in the pattern.
FYI: “Antiques Roadshow,” the venerable PBS series, has gone the way of so many long TV series. That’s right: Now there’s a spinoff.
Starting Monday, seven new episodes of “Vintage” will launch “Roadshow’s” 18th season. Based on the fact that values and tastes change, the show will take a second look at segments in the archives. The point is to let viewers decide which items have appreciated and, on the flip side, which have gone south.