Q: My mother left me her complete set of Salem China. It was a wedding gift, and she may have used the china once or twice over the years. I have used the dishes a couple of times since she gave them to me. All the pieces are perfect. They’re decorated with a central bouquet of colorful pastel flowers. The mark on the bottom is a small circle with the word “Salem” inside it and a coffee cup in front of it. Under that are the words, “Princess Margaret, 23 K Gold, 51 Y.” Please estimate a value for the set.

A:  Salem China Co. manufactured dinnerware in Salem, Ohio, from 1898 to 1967. The mark on your dishes dates the set to 1951, the year before Princess Margaret’s older sister, Elizabeth, became Queen of England. Salem China named the pattern to take advantage of Americans’ fascination with Great Britain’s royal family. The Princess Margaret pattern is not a common one. A 12-piece set of dishes in the pattern recently sold online for $225.

 

 

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