Flow Blue China

Q: I have about two dozen pieces of Flow Blue in the Melbourne and Normandy patterns. I am downsizing, but when I contacted antique dealers in my area there didn’t seem to be much interest. The few offers I got were less than what I originally paid. — Peggy, Austin, Texas

 A: Flow Blue was introduced by Staffordshire, England, potters in about 1825 and remained popular for a century. The name describes the blurred or flowing effect of the cobalt decoration achieved through the introduction of a chemical vapor into the kiln. Oriental patterns were especially favored by collectors.

 Flow Blue still is collected, of course, but prices have slumped. A platter in the Regent pattern that might have sold for $400 a few years ago sells today for only half that. The antique and collectible market is always changing. I suggest you hold on to your pieces until if and when the market rebounds.

A good source is the Flow Blue International Collectors’ Club, P.O. Box 5427, Naperville, IL 50567; www.flowblue.org.

 Q: I recently purchased about a dozen older fruit jars at a farm auction. Is there a price guide for them? I have several that are obviously old and might be rare. — Carolyn, Davenport, Iowa

 A: As early as 1829, fruit jars were being manufactured for use in food preservation. At the last estimate, more than 4,000 fruit jars and variations were known to exist.

 One of the better guides is “1000 Fruit Jars Priced and Illustrated” by Bill Schroeder, published by Collector Books. The guide is updated occasionally, and I believe accurately reflects the marketplace.

 Q: I have a membership card to the Jack Westaway Undersea Adventure Club. What can you tell me about it? I picked it up at a garage sale and paid $5 for it. — Steve, Littleton, Colorado

 A: During the 1930s, the Jack Westaway Undersea Adventure Club was sponsored by Malt-O-Meal. The club badge was shaped like a diving helmet. According to auctioneer Ted Hake, your membership card is worth between $20 and $100, depending, of course, on condition.

Write to Larry Cox in care of KFWS, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to questionsforcox@aol.com. Due to the large volume of mail he receives, he cannot personally answer all reader questions, nor does he do appraisals. Do not send any materials requiring return mail.

 (c) 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.

By Larry Cox