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Franciscan dinnerware available in Tucson


Q: My mom recently gave me her partial set of Franciscan dinnerware. I have six plates, four cups, nine saucers, four soup bowls, and a salt and pepper set. I understand that the pieces I have were purchased during the 1950s but that is about all I know about either the dishes or the pattern. – Laurie, Tucson

A: Franciscan, a trademark of Gladding McBean, was used on the company’s dinnerware from the mid-1930s until the Los Angeles-based plant closed in 1984. The company was among the first to offer “starter sets,” or four place settings, for consumers. This innovative policy helped popularize the pattern, especially in California.

Although Gladding McBean produced several patterns, Apple, Desert Rose, and Ivy were among the most successful. Several marks were used to identify this line of china. The earlier pieces of Franciscan were marked with an “F” in a square and a “Made in U.S.A.” below. Most pieces with this mark are from the 1930s. A double-line “F” was used on later issues.

To fill out your set, I suggest you visit Tom’s Fine Furniture and Collectibles at 5454 E. Pima St. During a recent visit to that store, I spotted dozens of Franciscan pieces, all priced below book value.

Q: I have a Shawnee teapot in the “King Corn” pattern. It was given to me as a wedding gift and I am curious to know how much it might be worth. – Sally, Tucson

A: I found the teapot referenced in the Antique Trader Teapots Price Guide edited by Kyle Husfloen (Krause, $19.99). Husfloen said your teapot is worth about $85 in good to excellent condition. That means no chips, no cracks, and the colors nice and vibrant.

Q: I have an Edison Model “C” cylinder machine. I would like to find cylinders I can play on it but haven’t been able to find any locally. Can you help me? – Carl, Tucson

A: You are correct in that Edison cylinders are difficult to find in this part of the country. I suggest you contact Richard Gesner’s Music Collection, 1711 S. Willow St., Manchester, NH 03103, and 603-644-0199 (fax). He has a large inventory of Edison cylinders including the two- and four-minute issues.

Editor’s note: Due to the imminent closure of the Tucson Citizen, this column will no longer accept antique or collectible questions from the readers.


This wonderful old 19th-century pine trunk needs a little work but it is a bargain at $145 at Tom’s Furniture and Collectibles, 5454 E. Pima St.

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