Q: I inherited an oversized cup and saucer from the 1896 U.S. presidential campaign of McKinley and Hobart. The stamp on the bottom of the saucer, which is the size of a small plate, says "Dresden China." The cup is bowl-size but has a handle. Who made the cup and saucer?
A: Collectors look for political items picturing both the U.S. presidential and vice presidential candidates. China picturing the candidates was popular during the late 1800s and was made by several potteries. The "Dresden China" mark was used by Dresden Pottery Works, which was operated by Brunt, Bloor, Martin and Co. The company was founded in East Liverpool, Ohio, in 1875 and was sold to the Potters Co-operative in 1882. It made hotel ware, white graniteware, and semi-porcelain. William McKinley and Garret Hobart were the Republican candidates for U.S. president and vice president in 1896 and eventually won the election. They were inaugurated on March 4, 1897. Hobart died on Nov. 21, 1899. When McKinley ran for a second term in 1900, he chose Theodore Roosevelt as his running mate. Roosevelt became president after McKinley was assassinated in 1901. Plates picturing McKinley are fairly common and were made in several sizes with various decorations, but the extra-large coffee cup and saucer are rare.