Museum Talk

Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Heart-shaped candy dish is part of the antique glassware on display at the Buffalo Island Museum in Monette.

Buffalo island Museum has many lovely dishes and glassware. One striking item is a 65 year old heart-shaped candy dish covered with pink hand-painted flowers. On the back is stamped "Hand Painted, Lenwile China Ardalt, Japan."

It also has AA, which was the Ardalt trademark. Ardalt Lenwile was a registered trademark in 1945 of the Ardalt Inc. Corp. Records show they imported items from Japan after World War II during the time the U.S. occupied Japan.

Following WWII, the United States occupied Japan, and because much of the manufacturing sector had been destroyed, the first major objective was to restore Japan's economy by rebuilding its industry and re-establishing the export trade.

The U.S. set up an agency to control the exporting of goods from Japan to the U.S. The agency stipulated that all goods prepared for export must carry the label "Made in Japan," "Japan," "Occupied Japan," or "Made in Occupied Japan."

Collectors are in a dilemma because many items that are only marked Japan or Made in Japan came from this time period, but only the last two marks really guarantee the items were made in the occupied Japan time frame. Those items are highly collectible.

If you are a serious collector, only look for those two marks. Beware of rubber stamped marks because this usually indicates a reproduction.

If fingernail polish remover removes the "Occupied in Japan" mark, the piece is a fake because the original mark is under the glaze. Even though Ardalt records state that this dish was from the 1945-1952 period, it has only the word "Japan" on the back and isn't a valuable collectible. Still it is a lovely 65 year old antique dish the museum is proud to have in their collection.

Buffalo Island Museum has many antique glassware, dishes, bowls, salt and pepper shakers and more. Many of the patterns of our dinnerware sets are no longer available.

Admission is free and hours are 1-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The museum is planning a vintage hat exhibit this summer. If anyone has a hat to loan for this exhibit or to donate to the museum, please call Monette City Hall at 870-486-2000 or Donna at 870-486-2516.

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