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MomsFrankoma

Dating / Pricing Unmarked Frankoma Pieces

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I'm helping my 90-year old mom inventory her Frankoma collection for her estate ... In with the many boxes of marked/numbered pieces, she has a box of Frankoma pieces that have no mark or number ... things like a cup, platter, pepper shaker. The color of the clay on some of the pieces are more beige than red. And on one tiny piece, there is no mark or #, but instead writing Xmas 1947 Frankoma. Can anyone suggest a way to find the pricing of these pieces. Thanks so much.

====================Info Added:

Thanks so much for the suggestions! Here are 2 pics as samples of the pieces without marks/#s ... and other pieces with unusual marks (for instance, the teapot has a stamped mark and a barely readable 94J; the tiny little wagon wheel is the one marked with Xmas 1947, and the cup in the back is a sample of the pieces without any mark at all).

All of her other pieces have glazed bottoms and marks/#s either stamped in or were part of the mold -- I think.

My mom won't be selling any of these pieces -- she is just looking for an equitable way to fairly distribute them to her grandchildren.

Again thanks so much!

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I would suggest that you get a book called Collector's Guide to Frankoma Pottery by Gary Schaum. It's available in lots of libraries or you can find them for about $20-25 on eBay (maybe a used book store if you're lucky). It's now about 10 years out of date, but most Frankoma items haven't gone up much in that time (in fact, a lot of the more valuable pieces have actually dropped in price over the last few years).

As for identification, there are pages from Frankoma's catalogs in Gary's book, so you may see the pieces there. If not, try http://www.frankomac...com/Index.html. Click on 'catalogs' near the top of the page. He has copies of most Frankoma catalogs. This will allow you to identify the pieces (although you'll still need something like Schaum's book to price them).

Prices in Gary's book are estimates and there will be some significant fluctuations. I've seen some items going for much more than Gary's book indicates and some are much less. Also, condition matters a great deal - unless it's a very rare piece, I won't touch it if it's damaged (although I did buy a Prancing Colt and pay to have it repaired). Also, keep in mind that actual selling prices may be considerably different than what's listed. I regularly buy pieces that I want for about 1/2 of the lowest price listed in Gary's book. It's going to depend on how you sell it. If you can get an antique dealer to sell it for you - and if you're in an area where Frankoma is popular - you might get much closer to book value (which means that you'll do OK even after paying a reasonable commission). OTOH, if you sell it on eBay, figure maybe 1/2 of the book value. Craigslist will be even lower.

If there are any specific pieces you're having trouble with, feel free to post pictures here and I'm sure someone can help.

The other option would be to find a collector who knows the value of various items. For example, I collect only Frankoma animals - and would be interested in giving you an idea of values if you can describe or send pictures to me.

As for the specific items you mentioned:

- I can't help you with the cup, platter, or pepper shaker without more info or a picture

- The piece saying Xmas 1947 may be a Frankoma Christmas card. Each year, Frankoma released Christmas cards as gifts. The 1947 was a wagon wheel sugar container. If that's what you have, book value is $95-100. If it's not the wagon wheel sugar, it may have been an advertising piece - and the value would be determined by what the piece is.

Color is described in Schaum's book or elsewhere. From the beginning (1932) to around 1953 or 1954, Frankoma used clay from Ada - which is a honey/beige color. In the mid-50s, the introduced the reddish Sapulpa clay because Ada was running out. Sapulpa clay varies by year - in the mid-50's, it was almost brown. Later, a reddish brown. By the late 60's and 70's, it became a bright brick red. Then it started to fade to the point where in the 90's, it was a pretty light pink. This century, it was a very pale pink - easily confused with the early Ada beige.

Good luck with your collection and please ask if you have specific questions.

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I would suggest that you get a book called Collector's Guide to Frankoma Pottery by Gary Schaum. It's available in lots of libraries or you can find them for about $20-25 on eBay (maybe a used book store if you're lucky). It's now about 10 years out of date, but most Frankoma items haven't gone up much in that time (in fact, a lot of the more valuable pieces have actually dropped in price over the last few years).

As for identification, there are pages from Frankoma's catalogs in Gary's book, so you may see the pieces there. If not, try http://www.frankomacollector.com/Index.html. Click on 'catalogs' near the top of the page. He has copies of most Frankoma catalogs. This will allow you to identify the pieces (although you'll still need something like Schaum's book to price them).

Prices in Gary's book are estimates and there will be some significant fluctuations. I've seen some items going for much more than Gary's book indicates and some are much less. Also, condition matters a great deal - unless it's a very rare piece, I won't touch it if it's damaged (although I did buy a Prancing Colt and pay to have it repaired). Also, keep in mind that actual selling prices may be considerably different than what's listed. I regularly buy pieces that I want for about 1/2 of the lowest price listed in Gary's book. It's going to depend on how you sell it. If you can get an antique dealer to sell it for you - and if you're in an area where Frankoma is popular - you might get much closer to book value (which means that you'll do OK even after paying a reasonable commission). OTOH, if you sell it on eBay, figure maybe 1/2 of the book value. Craigslist will be even lower.

If there are any specific pieces you're having trouble with, feel free to post pictures here and I'm sure someone can help.

The other option would be to find a collector who knows the value of various items. For example, I collect only Frankoma animals - and would be interested in giving you an idea of values if you can describe or send pictures to me.

As for the specific items you mentioned:

- I can't help you with the cup, platter, or pepper shaker without more info or a picture

- The piece saying Xmas 1947 may be a Frankoma Christmas card. Each year, Frankoma released Christmas cards as gifts. The 1947 was a wagon wheel sugar container. If that's what you have, book value is $95-100. If it's not the wagon wheel sugar, it may have been an advertising piece - and the value would be determined by what the piece is.

Color is described in Schaum's book or elsewhere. From the beginning (1932) to around 1953 or 1954, Frankoma used clay from Ada - which is a honey/beige color. In the mid-50s, the introduced the reddish Sapulpa clay because Ada was running out. Sapulpa clay varies by year - in the mid-50's, it was almost brown. Later, a reddish brown. By the late 60's and 70's, it became a bright brick red. Then it started to fade to the point where in the 90's, it was a pretty light pink. This century, it was a very pale pink - easily confused with the early Ada beige.

Good luck with your collection and please ask if you have specific questions.

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I've tried twice to attach photos ... no luck ... can you advise what I might be doing wrong? Thanks.

I don't know what's going wrong. You could try a service like http://www.flickr.com/ to post your photos and then post a link here.

Or, I sent you a PM with my email address. If you want, you can send me the photos and I'll see if I can post them or tell you what you have.

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I don't know what's going wrong. You could try a service like http://www.flickr.com/ to post your photos and then post a link here.

Or, I sent you a PM with my email address. If you want, you can send me the photos and I'll see if I can post them or tell you what you have.

Thanks Joe! I sent you the pics via your email.

Thanks again. I appreciate that you are taking the time to look at these pieces.

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