Our antiques expert appraises a Play-Time Glass Dish Set to help determine what it's worth today.
I received this colorful dish set for Christmas when I was 8 years old. I still have the box it came in. What can you tell me about it?
—M.J., Saint-Laurent, Quebec
What’s It Worth?
A: The manufacturer of your toy dish set, The Akro Agate Co., was established in 1911 near Akron, Ohio, and soon relocated to West Virginia. It became the country’s leading producer of marbles. In fact, the marbles term “aggie” came from Akro Agate.
To survive the Depression, the company diversified into the production of toy dishware. Play-Time Glass Dish Sets were made by an inexpensive machine molding process, and often there were minor flaws. The dishes came in an assortment of colors and patterns. Your concentric rib design is a favorite of toy dishware collectors.
Using sets like yours, countless young girls learned hostess skills playing tea party or pouring lemonade for family and friends. Akro Agate closed in 1951, partly due to the reopening of a competitive import market after the war. Today, in the original packaging, your dish set will bring $160.
—Barbara J. Eash (Country Woman Magazine’s Antiques Expert)