Q: My grandfather left us a three-handled porcelain tankard decorated with a blue and white medieval scene of a man and woman sitting at a table. The stamped mark on the bottom is a leafy wreath encircling a fancy monogram that appears to be “CAC.” Under the wreath is the word “Lenox.” How old is my tankard? Could it have been made by the same Lenox company that’s still around?
A: Your three-handled tankard is called a “tyg.” Tygs were filled with liquor and passed around the table after a big meal. “CAC” stands for Ceramic Art Co., a firm founded Trenton, N.J., in 1889 by Walter Scott Lenox (1859-1920) and Jonathan Coxon (1843-1911). Coxon sold his share of the company to Lenox in 1896, but the company’s name didn’t change to Lenox, Inc., until 1906. It is the same Lenox that is still in business, although its ownership has changed. The mark on your tyg was used from about 1896 to 1906, the decade when Ceramic Art Co. was solely owned by Walter Scott Lenox. So it’s an antique. If it’s in excellent condition, it would sell for more than $100.