Dough Box Is a Piece of Primitive Furniture
Q: This is a photo of a table my mother-in-law gave me. She called it a dough box. It has a removable lid, measures 29 inches long, is 16 inches deep and is 22 inches high. I think the wood is walnut, and it has original finish.
Could you tell me a little bit about its history?
A: Your dough box is also known as a kneading table. They originated in Europe, and many were brought to the United States by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the late 1700s. Because of the simplicity of the design, they are known as examples of primitive furniture or country furniture. Most dough boxes seen today in antiques shops were made from 1840 to 1880. They were made by local cabinetmakers or small furniture shops. Homemakers kneaded bread on the flat surface and then placed it in the trough to rise. Early pieces were frequently made of maple, and later ones were walnut or pine.
Your dough box is circa 1850 and would probably be worth $275 to $325.
Q: This mark is on the bottom of a 0.5-liter stoneware stein that my mother-in-law gave us. The stein is a cream color and decorated with a tan and green geometric design in relief. The lid is set into a pewter ring, and the thumb lift and hinge are both pewter. Also included with the mark are the numbers “90 — 11 –1983” and the word “Geschutzt.” I would appreciate any information you can provide.
A: Your stein was made by Villeroy & Boch in Mettlach, Saarland, Germany. Johann Franz Boch founded his pottery in 1748 in an old Benedictine abbey. He was joined by Nicolas Villeroy in 1836. The castle mark you provided represents the ancient abbey. Villeroy & Boch produced porcelain and earthenware dishes, steins and decorative pieces. Your stein is its mosaic design. The pottery made two versions. One was available in tan and green, and the other was red and green. The number 90 shows that your stein was made in 1890. The number 11 is the size, and 1983 is the design number. A matching master stein with the number 1984 was available. “Geschutzt” is a German word that means the design was patented. Villeroy & Boch pottery is still in business.
Your circa-1890 stein might be worth $175 to $225.