Trash or treasure? Let's find out
Time for tea
Graham Elbourne writes I inherited this tea set consisting of six cups, five saucers, six side plates and a sugar bowl. The following is inscribed under the bowl: Victoria, China, Czechoslovakia, Old England and hand-painted. Is it valuable?
Sophie-Louise Frohlich of Stephan Welz & Co. replies The Victoria Porzellan factory in Stará Role, Czechoslovakia (formerly Altrohlau, Bohemia up until the end of WW1) manufactured this set. Schmidt & Co. were the proprietors in the late 19th century and the pottery ran until 1945 when it was nationalised under the Communist regime. The factory’s main concern was commercial production and not artistic value. However, it still produced some high quality pieces. Since your set is incomplete, it does not hold much value. CIRCA Late 19th century – early 20th century VALUE Less than R500
A fond reminder
Sobeth Jordaan of Bloemfontein writes I bought this 41.5cm bronze figurine at an auction purely because I loved it so much. The plaque inscription reads: L’Alerte; Par Ruchot. Can you tell me a bit about it? Sophie-Louise replies This Art Deco figure is probably spelter and is cast ‘after Ruchot’. In other words, this is a reproduction casting. Charles Ruchot was a French sculptor from the 19th century who created numerous bronze castings and objets d’art. CIRCA 19th century VALUE R1 000 – R1 500 at auction CONTACT stephanwelzandco.co.za
Is this an ivy?
Michelle Richter writes This photograph is of my ivy plant; it has a flower that looks like a daisy. I’ve never seen an ivy flower before – is this normal?
JJ replies This isn’t an ivy, although it looks very similar. It’s actually an indigenous climber called a canary creeper (Senecio tamoides).
What a pest!
Anette Laubscher of Olifantshoek,
Northern Cape writes For almost three years, I’ve been struggling to eradicate mealybugs from my garden. They gather at the growing tips of my asters and Inca lilies as well as on the stalks and just above the soil. The foliage just above the soil soon dies back and the rest of the leaves change colour. I’ve cut off the stems to ground level and burnt them but when the plants regrow, they have the same problem. I previously sprayed Rosecare and Redspidercide and more recently Malasol and Fendona. I’ve trimmed a lot of the foliage in my garden and lifted the asters; the Inca lily tubers will soon go into winter dormancy. What can I use to treat the soil or must I start from scratch with fresh soil?
JJ replies The soil can be sterilised with Jeyes Fluid: pour 20ml in 10L of water over the soil and cover the bed with a plastic sheet for three days so the soil can sweat. Unfortunately, this kills all plant life but once you replenish the soil with compost, the earthworms and microbes will return. Do not repeat this more than once every three years.
Listen to JJ’s gardening tips and tricks on Derrich Gardner’s show Brekfis met Derrich at 07:40 every Saturday on RSG.