ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Collecting Mania: Children's China

Updated on May 27, 2010

For several decades, collectors of fine antiques have sought the prototypical and classic Staffordshire children's wares from the 19th century, especially the ones which were emblazoned with the various alphabet letters, nursery rhymes, or the name of the child along with messages of love from parents and family. When the market for these very special children's collector items has expanded, the better examples became very difficult to locate, and the wise collectors began focusing on wares which have appeal to a more recent generation.

The pottery companies in the nineteenth century which manufactured adult tableware began to issue special sets sized down just for the children of their main customer base. These full dish sets included kid sized plates, bowls, and cups, and the more expensive and expansive sets would include soup bowls, bread plates, salad plates, dinner plates, sauce tureens, both covered and open vegetable bowls and a vast assortment of various serving pieces.

The majority of collectors naturally assumed that the children sized sets were being designed in order to serve as promotional giveaways for their sales staff to use in order to obtain an order from the family for a full sized and far more expensive set, but it seems that the pottery was actually sought after by mothers in order to begin training their young daughters in their roles to become successful housewives and mothers, which was the primary goal for girls in that long ago age. Due to the fact that they were being used for educational rather than play purposes many of these children's sets were emblazoned with botanical motifs of a more formal style and with more subdued colors of browns and blues, in sharp contrast to the gaily colored and decorated play sets.

Many companies continued in the production of kids' items made from ceramics in the post war period, but the much more durable and shatter resistant plastic material became the preferred choice of most American consumers.

Because of increasing interest, prices for 20th-century wares are now on the rise. Roseville Juvenile pieces are actively sought and generally start at $50 to $100 and can reach up to $500 or more for a complete set or a rare motif (chicks, ducks, dogs, and Sunbonnet Sues are relatively common; cats, pigs, bears, and Santa Claus are rare). Prices for Stangl Kiddieware start at about $50 for a baby cup and can reach $1,000 for a complete set with a rare pattern. Good news: Unmarked nursery-rhyme mugs and plates from the 1930's or 1940's can still be found in the $25 to $50 range, making the wares affordable for young collectors.

As with toys, children's china was sometimes subjected to rough treatment at kids' hands, so chips and minor damage are common. That makes unused sets in their original boxes the ultimate collector's prize. In the 19th century, Staffordshire produced a line of china featuring names on baby and children's cups. These pieces are very collectible, especially now that the old-fashioned names they bear are back in vogue. Expect to pay somewhere in the $200 range for examples in fair to good condition.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)