John Maddock Mad6 China

Friday, December 19, 2008

F+W Media decided to sell the corporate guest houses in Iola, and one of the final steps was emptying the Thorson House of its assortment of furnishings so that the new owners could move in. Over the weekend, employees bid on this and that, and I ended up with a slew of wine glasses (including matched sets of 14 small glasses and 7 larger ones; is "glasses" the term? goblets, maybe?), a slew of old china, and (yes! thinking ahead!) a slew of maroon towels. This morning, the beverage containers are on the mantel, and the china resides on kitchen surfaces. In the case of the china (for which I paid $85, more than the minimum bid), my first curiosity was what the pattern actually is. It's not a complete set, though there are lots of dishes. There's no gravy boat. There's no sugar-and-creamer set. So what if I wanted to add those? And these dishes have been in use for decades, so several pieces are chipped. So what if I wanted to replace them? (The set seems to have a base of 12 [though I bet it began as 14 before attrition hit].)

Kind Kim Frankenhoff came to the rescue, having been handed a saucer, and she came up with the following:

The set is (as identified on an assortment of dish bottoms) Royal Vitreous made by John Maddock & Sons. And (yay, Kim!) the pattern is officially known as Mad6. The startling information comes from an eBay search, where I find the Oval Covered Vegetable dish (above), for example, is priced at $245. And the Round Footed Soup Tureen is $375. On the other hand, the Round Covered Vegetable Dish is a mere $195. Ah, and a cup and saucer set (a couple above; I have 8) is $32 @.

This does not bode well for the goal of filling out the impulsively purchased set with a gravy boat. Mind you, people offering random pieces on eBay are probably not those who can even identify the pattern, so there'd be a posting something along the lines of "Old Gravy Boat RARE!" and I'm not about to spend the time. The prices in the preceding paragraph are those from online stores that specialize in identifying and selling this sort of thing, and I'm not about to spend the money for their expertise. So probably what I have is what I'll stick with, though I'm still curious as to when it was manufactured and what was in the "complete" set. (Old china can be weird; Valerie gave me a bunch of Haviland china a few years ago in what a friend identified as the "Apple Blossom" pattern -- and it included ramekins and strange dishes for fish bones. Heck, a cup and saucer set from that pattern is listed at $60 from Replacements Ltd.)

I love the idea of even having a Round Covered Vegetable Dish, and it's been used enough that I trust my dish is not truly worth the full $195. But this is a hobby in which I've probably dabbled to my limit already.


Anonymous,  January 2, 2009 at 10:30 PM  

Hey Maggie, just thought I'd say hi. I was in the booth at Comic Con 2004 and really enjoyed chatting. My Martial Arts Manga book for F+W came out in November. I didn't know F+W owned houses... very interesting...
I just heard a DC podcast with Dan DiDio and you were mentioned. Kind of cool.
I'm doing some freelance graphic novel work now.
Take care,
David Okum

Unknown March 21, 2009 at 2:31 PM  

Hello! I was just looking for the name of this pattern, and when I learned it was Mad6, I decided to do a Google search for it and found your journal. FYI, there's a gravy boat for sale for under $100 at
I have some cups and saucers and was surprised to learn their value!

Maggie Thompson May 20, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

Thanks for the comments! Sorry to reply to them so late!

What are you getting up to these days, David? I'll be at San Diego again this year and would love to chat!

I've since tracked down a milk jug (it helps to have an antiques expert working here; he identified what piece of the service it was -- something we're not always familiar with these days) on eBay and have found that the best way to get cheap prices with a minimum of filtering on eBay is to use the term that's on the piece, rather than the technical pattern identification. The identification on the piece is what people use when they don't know exactly what it is they have (as opposed to the people who are specialists in the field).

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