Bob White collection

My niece has a red wing dinnerware set, (approximately 50 pieces) including two salt/pepper sets, a coffee pot, and some serving dishes. I do not have a picture, but the pattern has two birds, brown and blue, and some other accent decoration. The birds look like chicks or maybe baby grouse or some other wild bird. We would like to know the age and the pattern and a broad estimate of value, as she is thinking of leaving the set in a rental cabin, but not if it is of great value. I realize this is not much information, but would appreciate any help you could give. Thank you. Katherine Boivin

Answer:  Your description fits the Bob White dinnerware pattern Bob White was introduced in 1954 and was a big hit with the buying public. It continued to be Red Wing’s best-selling pattern when the company went out of business in 1967. The value of your 50 piece collection depends on condition and whether the pieces are common or hard to find.

Everyday pieces such as plates and coffee cups were made in great numbers for the duration of production. So many were made that they are worth only a few dollars today, even in excellent condition. But other pieces were made in more limited numbers, thus they are harder to find and worth considerably more to collectors. For example a standard Bob White coffee cup is worth about $5, but the larger coffee mug is worth $50-75. Your coffee pot would have a value of $60-80 if it includes the stopper and is in excellent condition. A Bob White water cooler or complete Lazy Susan set would be worth hundreds, the rare pepper mill would approach $1000. Most likely you do not have these particular pieces, but even fairly common Bob White accessories such as the gravy boat or divided vegetable dish are worth $20-30.

In summary, common everyday pieces can probably be left with the cabin, especially if they are damaged. But you might want to investigate further before leaving behind accessory pieces that could be worth significant money.