Pfaltzgraff is a contemporary manufacturer whose stoneware and china have been sold since the early 1800s when the business began as a simple pottery shop in Pennsylvania. The company's patterns offer a variety of traditional, innovative, humorous and seasonal motifs. The patterns are often limited to a few seasons or years. Decorators, collectors, and homemakers are enthusiastic buyers for discontinued patterns.
Collectibles and Demand
Pfaltzgraff stoneware and china dishes are collectible for many reasons. They are beautiful, useful, interesting, and not necessarily very expensive as new products. The dinnerware and serving pieces are often unusually innovative and include related items as diverse as lamps, clocks and linens of all kinds. If a discontinued pattern remains popular for many years, the price for pieces is likely to be high. If demand is low, the price will likely remain low.
Collectibles and Availability
Availability is also a factor in the price of collectibles such as Pfaltzgraff dishes. If the company made the pattern for many years and sold thousands of pieces, the prices are much more likely to remain low. Conversely, if the production of the product and pattern was limited to only a few years or seasons and sales were modest, the price may become higher if demand continues.
Unique Pfaltzgraff Pieces
A third issue relating to price would be the uniqueness of some pieces of Pfaltzgraff. A five-piece place setting of a discontinued popular pattern may be priced at or just above its original cost, but a decorative birdhouse-shaped cookie jar or pitcher could be priced considerably higher than the original retail. More than a few of Pfaltzgraff's designs have been separately collected for years; snow globes and cakestands, for example, command high prices.
Some discontinued Pfaltzgraff dinnerware prices seem to encourage collecting and will enable collectors to add pieces to their place settings. A number of discontinued patterns are sold for as little as $10 per plate or $4 for a mug. However, replacing a broken sugar bowl will cost as much as $15 and a footed tray might be $40. Other slightly higher priced patterns are offered at $57 for a place setting and $147 for a more complete set of serving pieces. Still more unusual and desirable pieces may be priced for many hundreds of dollars.
Where to Shop
To buy discontinued Pfaltzgraff at the lowest prices or to sell the dinnerware for the highest prices, you must first know the name of the desired pattern. Search for the pattern by name on any of several websites devoted to china and dinnerware, including the official Pfaltzgraff site. These offer hundreds of examples of pieces available for sale, will allow a collector to sell on the website, and will run a search for a particular piece requested by a collector. After determining what may be expected when buying or selling, you may want to turn to newspaper classified ads, Craig's list, e-bay, thrift shops, charity shops, and garage sales.
Karen W. Waggoner is a retired teacher and lifetime scribbler. She has published short stories, essays in anthologies and periodicals. Waggoner is the author of the memoir, "On My Honor, A Navy Wife’s Vietnam War." She is a graduate of Stetson University, the University of Connecticut and Christian College for Women.