Dinnerware with the Currier & Ives work was manufactured by the Royal China Company. The company made plates, bowls, serving dishes and other dishware with images from Currier & Ives sketches on the front. A&P Markets used some of the dishes as a promotion and it was sold during the 1980s. The value of plates from this time depends on the size and other factors.
Replacements.com is one of the top online companies specializing in dinnerware. The site has thousands of different patterns from different manufacturers, and sells dishes by the single piece. The prices are set according to the market value and give you the chance to complete your set. As of 2011, the basic 10-inch plate is priced at $19.99. The line also featured plates with a date in the center, which were known as calendar plates. A 1973 calendar plate retails for $27.99, while later editions sell for around $17 to $23.
The price a large company such as Replacements.com gets for a plate, and the price you get for the plate, vary drastically. If you sell the plates as a package deal, you’ll likely earn less per plate. A complete set is often worth more than a single plate. When you sell a complete set, such as four dinner plates, you appeal to new collectors looking for an entire collection. Selling individual plates appeals to collectors looking for a single plate to complete an existing collection.
Before selling your plates or determining the value of your set, pay close attention to the condition of each one. Even minor damage, like a small chip on the rim or a scratch, can seriously lower the value. The plates were mass-produced and available to the general public, which means collectors only want pieces in very good to excellent condition. When you do sell the plates, clearly identify damaged spots.
Currier & Ives plates often have a white background, with the image in blue. Not all plates have a stamp or identifying mark on the back, but many do. If the plate does have a stamp, it should list Currier & Ives, with the pattern name below, and “by Royal” underneath. The stamp may be brown, red, green, blue, or a different color. Plates with an “S” on the back may indicate a plate with some amount of damage that occurred during the manufacturing process.
Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.