A cup without a handle but with two saucers, a salt crock to hang on a kitchen wall, a cream pitcher in the form of a cow with luster spots over its white pottery body, an amber bottle shaped like a fish, a satiny rose bowl whose glowing color belies its roundness—all these were useful and probably treasured possessions in homes 85 to 150 years ago. Today, people raise their eyebrows if someone serves tea in a cup without a handle. The salt crock would be considered downright unsanitary. Their value lies in their being antiques. As such, they’re as genuine as the brass lantern with beveled glass sides that hangs in the hall of the Governor's Palace, restored to its 18th-century splendor, in Williamsburg, Virginia.