Eleven piece tequila set - Tonala, Mexico

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Post by Izzenhood September 22nd 2023, 4:09 am

I was told on another forum that the mark on the platter was from Erandi Ceramica in Tonala, but searching their site I see a different mark (longer signature) in use.
There are 9 shot glasses, a small pitcher, and a serving tray, all decorated crudely with a bird and flowers.  Someone suggested that it is probably just cheap tourist ware but I would like a more informed opinion.  Another person said that since it was high fired I shouldn't worry about lead. Is that true?Eleven piece tequila set - Tonala, Mexico 20230918
Eleven piece tequila set - Tonala, Mexico 20230919
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Post by NaomiM September 22nd 2023, 11:20 am

Yes, it’s by Tonala stoneware, Mexico. I think it was set up as a community project to provide jobs making pottery for the tourist market so there have been different marks over the years. Most of us are in the U.K. so we won’t know what the market is like for such items in your area. Lead in glaze was banned in most countries early in the 20thC but I don’t know about Mexico. Usually it’s ok if the decoration is under a clear layer of glaze. It’s usually Chinese porcelain that has a problem, where brightly coloured glazes containing lead, arsenic, cadmium etc are painted on the surface of the glaze and then fired; called overglaze enamels. The colours on these Mexican pieces look like cobalt, copper and iron which are usually safe


Last edited by NaomiM on September 22nd 2023, 1:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by philpot September 22nd 2023, 12:58 pm

Your best idea of the market is to look at sold items on EbayUS. Or see what/or if they are selling on Etsy and the like. As a general rule of thumb, the more that were produced the less value they are,
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Post by NaomiM September 22nd 2023, 1:06 pm

Pieces signed by Ken Edwards and Jorge Wilmot are worth more

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Post by Izzenhood September 22nd 2023, 6:28 pm

NaomiM wrote:Yes, it’s by Tonala stoneware, Mexico. I think it was set up as a community project to provide jobs making pottery for the tourist market so there have been different marks over the years. Most of us are in the U.K. so we won’t know what the market is like for such items in your area. Lead in glaze was banned in most countries early in the 20thC but I don’t know about Mexico. Usually it’s ok if the decoration is under a clear layer of glaze. It’s usually Chinese porcelain that has a problem, where brightly coloured glazes containing lead, arsenic, cadmium etc are painted on the surface of the glaze and then fired; called overglaze enamels. The colours on these Mexican pieces look like cobalt, copper and iron which are usually safe

Thank you for your kind response.
Your explanation on glazes and lead is much appreciated. Based on other internet information Mexico still does have a problem with lead in pottery.
I posted the maker's mark on several other pottery and antique forums and haven't come up with an answer. The crudeness of the painted bird makes me think that this may be cheap tourist ware, but then again at least one famous Mexican potter (Gorky of Guanajato) paints animals somewhat crudely.

I am traveling but in a few days I will post on the American-Canadian-Mexican subforum with photos of a fabulous Mexican piece by Ken Edwards and will also inquire about the tequila set. I bought the Ken Edward piece at the same sale as the tequila set. I got it home and found that it contained $40 US in change, so I took it back and gave it to the seller, so then he gave me the tequila set for free.

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