Newcomb College is not just famous for pottery

Antiques & Collecting

Ceramics collectors know Newcomb College for its famous pottery. From 1895 to the 1940s, students at the college, which was, at the time, Tulane University’s coordinate women’s college, decorated the ceramics that Newcomb Pottery sold. In accordance with the Arts and Crafts movement, the intention was to both teach the students vocational skills and encourage their appreciation for decorative arts and fine craftsmanship.

Like many Arts and Crafts communities or guilds, Newcomb College students worked in multiple media. They bound books, crafted metalwork and, perhaps most notably, created textiles, with fiber arts classes introduced in the early 1900s.

This sewing bag, which sold at Treadway Gallery, is one of the textiles made during the program. Unlike the pottery, it is not signed or marked; we don’t know the name of the artisan who made it. Like the pottery, the design incorporates local Louisiana plant life; here, a landscape with trees. Made in linen and silk, it is simply designed and skillfully crafted. Its rarity as well as its quality and the Newcomb College name brought its sale price to $4,445. Newcomb pottery can also sell for as much and even more.

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Q: We have 21 large totes, all wrapped, full of the Royal Copley collection, and are wondering how to sell them all together. We have more than one of some pieces, and we have names and prices in a notebook. Could you help with this?

A: Royal Copley is a name used by the Spaulding China Company in Sebring, Ohio, from 1939 to 1960. The most famous Royal Copley pieces are figurines, figural planters and head vases, which were sold at department stores. There are several options for selling an entire collection. You can check antique shops and consignment stores in your area to see if they sell similar items. Consignment shops usually know what price to ask, but antiques dealers will want you to set the price. An auction house is another option. Or you could contact a matching service like Replacements LTD to see if they are interested in buying your collection. No matter what you do, be sure to check for any fees or insurance requirements and get a signed contract before you sell.

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Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

Sewing, kit, egg-shape case, plastic, green, gold-tone netting, contains three needles, two pins, two safety pins, thread, thimble, marked, Mosell, 2 1/2 inches, $70.

Villeroy & Boch, vase, art nouveau, light green ground, stylized flowers around shoulder and lip, hand engraved, six-sided, c. 1900, 12 inches, $110.

Toy, dollhouse, two-story, Georgian style, two hinged front panels, painted, red trim, black roof, two chimneys, wood, 20th century, 24 x 27 x 10 inches, $200.

Cloisonne, box, round, lid, phoenix, turquoise feathers, multicolor, geometric borders, blue ground, red lacquer interior, Japan, late 19th century, 3 3/4 inches, $260.


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