Sunday, August 9, 2015

Are They Real?

I'm a relatively new collector of Jadite/Jadeite. I kind of admired it from afar for many years. When I say "kind of", what I mean is, I saw it, thought it looked nice, but I was so busy looking for Fiesta, Pyrex or other vintage kitchenware that I didn't really give it much of a second look. Until...I found some plates at a perpetual garage sale one day. They were marked Fire King and they were mint! Most importantly, they were super cheap (my favorite price)!

Slowly, but surely, I started noticing it at garage sales and started picking up pieces here and there. I even picked up some repro pieces at the Giant Peach in Georgia. I had done a little research prior to that trip, so even though they weren't marked "new" or "repro", I was sure that they were, and I was fine with it -I bought them because I liked them.

So, fast forward a few years, to Friday. The very first stop for us on the US 12 sale, the Rentschler Farm Sale in Saline. There were several vendors all set up on the Historic Farm grounds. I walked up to a dealer and on his table he had 4 shakers that looked new, but the lids looked old-ish. He had $5 each on the shakers. I picked a couple up and looked them over, and quickly decided to buy them. I also picked up a little white shaker for $1.

All day Friday I was wondering if they were new or old. I wondered if he put old lids on new shakers. I remembered all of the other things on his tables and how they seemed to be priced high for yard sale prices, and yet these shakers were priced super low. I remembered him saying to me, "You're getting a great deal on those."  Auntie and I even spoke of it a couple of times in the car while we were traveling from sale to sale.

I tried to do some research online when I got home, but I got home at dinner time and very close to the time that Mr got home, so we spent some time talking and catching up on our day, and before I knew it, it was time to turn in, so I didn't make much progress in solving my mystery.

Saturday, after my usual weekend household chores, I decided to revisit those shakers and try to figure it out once and for all. I put them in my cabinet with my other Jadite pieces, both fake and real. I love them, so they aren't going anywhere,

Here is what I noticed about my shakers:
1. They are in excellent condition-no chips, cracks or discoloration on any of them.
2. The lids look to be older style.
3. They are very heavy.
4. They aren't the same color as my "real" jadite.
5. They aren't the same color as my "fake" jadite.
6. They are unmarked.
7. The lids on the salt and pepper shakers are the same, but they don't match the other two.
8. The lids on the sugar and flour shakers are the same, but they don't match the other two.
9. The font matches the font on my fake salt container.
10. They don't have an arch on the sides.
11. Online image searches show these shakers as vintage McKee and also as Jeanette.
12. Online image searches also show they could be reproductions from Rosso.

I have spent several hours searching and searching for some that look like mine. I don't care if they are repros, I just wanted to know for sure. I think I finally have my answer. I found a dealer on Ruby Lane with the same shakers, not as good of shape as mine, but the same shakers down to the last detail.

In her bio, the dealer says she has been a collector for over 5 decades. The shakers she has listed are from her personal collection, and she's had them for decades. I know people can say anything they want to say, and just because they say it, doesn't make it true. I did a little snooping into Ruby Lane's policies and found that they are pretty strict for sellers. Every shop is pre-screened, and if there is a dispute on an item, Ruby Lane closes the shop until it is resolved. If it doesn't get resolved, the shop can never reopen. Plus this seller sell exclusively on Ruby Lane.

They guarantee authenticity...if their seller says it's authentic, it's authentic. They claim that they hold their sellers accountable to be honest in their descriptions and their dealings. This particular seller has been a seller since 2008 with over 1000 sales, and no issues.

So, unless someone can prove to me otherwise...I'm believing they are vintage Shakers that I just happened to luck my way into owning for $20...b u t...I still have this nagging feeling they are repros...ugh!!!

Here are my shakers...

Too much flash...otherwise you'd see the round indention in the bottom.

Doesn't match the old

Even though the flash makes it look like it matches the repro salt cellar, it doesn't in person.

Color comparison with repros.

The other shaker I got at the same sale.


  1. Wow! Well you have done your homework and yet it's still hard to tell. I don't know anything about Jadeite at all. I think its really pretty! Maybe someone out there will know the answer.

  2. New or old, they are GORGEOUS!


  3. I collect shakers. You said that these are very heavy, but have no wear...hum...I think that they are old, but not used much. The thing that bothers me is the lids don't match. The lids should all be dome shaped. The flat ones look like repros.

  4. All authentic McKee & Jeannette jadeite will glow under a black light because the glass contains uranium. Fire King jadeite will not glow but it is usually marked.

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