Q: This plate belonged to my father when he was a young boy. In the center there is a picture of two little girls having tea. The alphabet in raised letters is around the outer edge and hands signing the alphabet are around the inside edge. The markings on the back of the plate are "Haynsley & Co., Longton" and "RON 426673." I would like to know more about this plate.
A: ABC plates have a raised or printed border of letters of the alphabet that were meant to help children learn to read. They were especially popular in the 1800s, but are still being made. Your plate was made not made by Haynsley, but by H. Aynsley & Co. of Longton, England. The company was founded in 1873. The initials on the backstamp are RdNo and the numbers that follow indicate the registry number for the design, shape, color, or pattern. The number on your plate indicates it was probably made c.1916. Alphabet plates with sign language and letters are prized. Yours is worth about $250.