Q: I inherited a ceramic tile mural made up of 24 4-inch tiles. The tiles are not cemented together, but when laid out they picture a large sailing ship, two smaller sailboats and a lighthouse. One tile is signed “Pillsbury.” I think the tiles came from a pottery in Ohio. Any information and present value would be appreciated.
A: Hester W. Pillsbury (1862-1951) was a decorator who worked at Roseville and Weller, both Ohio potteries. Roseville Pottery was organized in Roseville, Ohio, in 1890 and opened a plant in nearby Zanesville in 1898. Roseville made pottery until 1954. Weller Pottery started out in Fultonham, Ohio, moved to Zanesville in 1882 and closed in 1948. Hester Pillsbury began working in about 1904 and worked at Weller after 1918. A tile picture like yours, made up of 24 signed tiles, could be worth $1,000 or more.