Q: Enclosed is a photo of a silver-footed container that I have. I was told it is a biscuit jar. Marked on the bottom are the words “Mappin & Webb – Sheffield – London – W2648.” It has a hinged lid, stands about 9 inches tall and is in perfect condition.
I would appreciate any information about the maker and estimated value of my container.
A: Mappin & Webb made your silver-plated biscuit jar. Cookies are referred to as biscuits in England. Jonathan Mappin started out in Sheffield, England, in 1775. They opened a store in London in 1849, and the name was later changed to Mappin & Webb. They produced silver plate and sterling silver objects. They also created jewelry for European royalty including Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth, Prince of Wales, Princess Grace of Monaco and the last Czar of Russia. The mark “W2648” is the design number.
After several mergers and acquisitions, Mappin & Webb continues today to produce silver and jewelry and is also a retailer of luxury watches. Biscuits jars can be found made of porcelain, crystal, silver plate and sterling silver. They were in demand from around 1860 to the early 1900s.
Your silver-plated biscuit jar was made around 1900 and would probably be worth $125 to $225.
Q: This mark is on the bottom of a porcelain shaving mug that belonged to financier and mass-transit developer Charles Yerkes. It has been in our family since my father’s aunt acquired it while she was a traveling companion to Yerkes’ wife in the early 20th century. Having recently read a biography about Yerkes, I developed a new interest in the shaving mug and hope to learn more about our mug and the maker. Were shaving mugs produced in quantities or was each piece unique? Although I would never sell it, I am certainly interested in knowing its value.
A: Tressemanes & Vogt used the mark you provided. Partners Emilien Tressemanes and Gustave Vogt joined together during the early 1880s to develop their decorating and exporting firm. In 1891, they began to produce their own high-quality porcelain in factories for marketing in the United States. In 1907, Tressemanes retired, and Vogt owned the business until it was sold in 1919. Shaving mugs were popular from the late 1800s to around 1920. A plethora of mugs were produced for individuals in a variety of styles. Some were decorated with the name of fraternal organizations or occupations; others were specifically made with the owner’s name and were kept at the barbershop. Most were bought for use at home.
Your shaving mug was made around 1900 and would probably be worth $75 to $125.