Treasures: Bowl set, dish tell different stories


Dear Helaine and Joe:

I have a berry bowl set that includes the serving bowl and six individual dishes. The set was a wedding gift to my grandfather circa 1915. The mark on the bottom is “Favorite Bavaria.” The other piece is a plate my mother purchased in the 1970s. It is signed in gold “Higgins.” Any information would be appreciated.

Thank you,

M. K.. Lady Lake, Florida

Dear M. K.:

We will begin with the antique item, the circa 1915/1916 berry set marked “UNO Favorite Bavaria.” The mark is not recorded in the printed references in our library, so we turned to the internet and came away with an attribution that rings true.

The current “411” indicates the maker of the charming porcelain berry set was C. M. Hutschenreuther of Hohenberg, Bavaria. The factory was founded in 1814 by Carolus Magnus Hutschenreuther, who headed the company until his death in 1845. The factory burned down in 1848 but was rebuilt.

C. M. Hutschenreuther’s son, Lorenz, left the firm in 1857 to establish Hutschenreuther Porcelain Company in nearby Selb, Bavaria, which merged with C. M. Hutschenreuther Porcelain Factory in 1969. It is reported that the mark “Favorite Bavaria” or “UNO Favorite Bavaria” — as seen on the piece in today’s question — was an export mark used by C. M. Hutschenreuther on goods sent to the United States.

It is also reported that the mark was used on pieces imported by the Burley and Tyrell Company of Chicago. Many of these wares were “blanks” (or undecorated white porcelain) that were used by china painters and decorating studios. However, some factory-decorated wares such as this berry set do have this mark. The set’s current value is mainly sentimental because it is out of fashion with collectors and has a monetary value of between $85 and $110.

The plate, on the other hand, is part of the midcentury modern craze that is center stage right now in the collecting world. It was made by Michel and Francis Higgins, who met at the Chicago Institute of Design and later married. Higgins Studios was started in the couple’s apartment in 1948 with kilns behind the couple’s sofa. In 1957, Higgins Studios formed a partnership with Chicago’s Dearborn Glass Company and “Higginsware” became a hit that could be bought at upscale places such as Marshall Field’s, Georg Jensen, and Bullock’s Wiltshire.

Higgins glass is fused or “laminated” glass that consists of enamel sandwiched between layers of glass and then shaped or “slumped” in a mold. Higgins Studios is reportedly still in business and over the years has made large quantities of bowls, ashtrays, candlesticks, lamps, jewelry, clocks, room dividers, mobiles, architectural decoration and so forth.

When the Higgins Studios’ association with Dearborn Glass ended in 1966, they set up shop in Riverside, Illinois. They are still producing midcentury modern-style glass and a circa 1970 example such as the one in today’s question might be $125 to $150 if it is 11 inches in diameter, or $150 to $200 if it is 13 inches in diameter.

This story was originally published October 18, 2021 9:47 AM.

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