DEAR SUN SPOTS: As a senior citizen, I am not very savvy on the internet, and therefore, I hope you can help me. Do you know of anyone locally who can help me find some information about a 12-piece setting of china I own?  I no longer have any need for the set and am not sure what to do with it. I’m wondering if it is worth anything or if anyone may be interested in it. The printing on the back of the china reads, “Semi Vitreous Edwin M. Knowles China Co.”

— Louise, no town

ANSWER: Daniel Buck Auctions at 501 Lisbon St. in Lisbon Falls may be able to help you. The number there is 407-1444. It will be helpful to know what the name of the pattern is and if there is any gold edging on it. Pattern names did not appear on Knowles dishes until the late ’40s so if there’s no pattern name, your china was made before then.

Edwin M. Knowles took control of the Potters Supply Company of Ohio in 1890 after graduating from Harvard University. Ten years later, he became founder of the Knowles China Company and held the title of president until his death in 1943.

Located in West Virginia, the Knowles China Company pledged to manufacture only the finest semi-vitreous ware. When the “Crockery and Glass Journal” reviewed Knowles’ ware as being of the highest grade, the factory’s reputation for creating quality products became known throughout the porcelain-making industry. As demand grew, another factory was built just two miles south of the original. The company continued on a successful path, constantly keeping up with trends and demand.

In 1936, Knowles introduced the deco-modern Yorktown dinnerware, headed by the company’s art director, Vincent Broomhall. Characterized by circular ridges, the design was a common one at the time and extremely popular. A modern line of kitchenware accessories was released in 1938. Available in seven colors for mixing and matching, it supported the then-popular space-saving concept in the kitchen. Decades later, the company began to experience financial distress, and the Knowles factory closed in 1962. An overseas company producing collector plates bought the right to use the Knowles name.

I looked on two websites, eBay and Etsy, and it does seem that your china is worth some money. As you know though, selling it will depend on demand for it.


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