Saturday, November 30, 2013

Do You Know What This Thing Is?

This is the story of an inherited piece and the joy of Google.  When I first unpacked this, I thought it was an incense burner.  Then I noticed that there were no vents to allow smoke to escape.

So if it wasn't an incense burner, what is it?  The loop on the handle looked like it's meant to hold the lid, but the lid loop didn't fit into it. (I later learned that this was due to corrosion.)

There were two bird's heads on the lip of the main body.  They looked like they're meant as hooks or supports.  I thought that maybe they would hold the lid tipped up, to let smoke out, but I wasn't able to make that work.

There was a grate, which would work for an incense burner.  And maybe the lid was supposed to be used to smother it, saving incense for later.

There was a mark on the bottom.  Meriden Silver Plate - Quadruple Plate 1339 1/2 - with a lion holding a rose. 

OK.  That's googlable.  Aaaand, it's a butter dish!  The grate is called a pierced liner "which served to keep the butter above melting ice."  And the lid IS supposed to hang from the handle. The bird's head supports are meant to hold a butter knife.  Cool beans!  I never knew that butter used to be sold in "one pound circular cakes, which measured roughly four inches in diameter."

Now I have to decide whether to keep it or not. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

If It Feels Like History, It's Harder For Me To Toss

I don't know which relative I inherited this catalog from, but the fact that it feels a little historic has made it more difficult for me to just toss it away.

New Illustrated Catalog of Fine Linen Drawn Work
A.B. Culver Jr.
Aguascalientes, Mexico
So I scanned it and I'm posting it here.  If it has any historical value, it has been memorialized.  I couldn't find a date on it, but other booklets in the box were from the late thirties or early forties.  Not that my relatives sorted things by date. 

I won't blame you if you don't want to look through all of these doilies and handkerchiefs.

I'm trying to remember the last time I saw a doily.  A real doily - paper doilies under brownies or cupcakes don't count.

Ah, look.  They claim to have made the "very first fine linen handkerchief ever made of Drawn Work. . ."  Definitely history!  Well, if you believe it.

Centerpieces, Tea Cloths, Lunch Cloths, and Table Cloths . . . I'm assuming that these are prestige items.

My Grandma D had a few doilies.  She had many more antimacassars.  I think that was because she had more comfy chairs for people to sit in than she had horizontal surfaces with nothing being stored on them.

I think my mother had one or two doilies.  She used them under decorative candy dishes.  Usually the candy dishes were empty.

Although I have vague memories from when I was very young of candy dishes with hard candies that had been sitting in the dish long enough to have sealed together into one, dish-sized hard candy.  That could have been at some half-remembered great aunt's house, though, rather than at home.

Oh, hey!  Collars and cuffs and shirt waists!  I've seen lace lady's collars, but not men's collars.

I don't have any personal experience with lady's lace collars, but I was aware that they existed.  They could be moved from one dress to another.  From the ad copy above: "Wheel Collars are now all the rage and we make the latest and most popular styles." 

Ending with lady's collars and cuffs and a baby cap.  I'm going to assume that you have to send for the price list because the catalog was expected to be used for years. 

And now that the whole catalog has been posted, I can throw the catalog out.  Even if the company were still in business, "North Side of Plaza" probably isn't a good enough address any more.  So I wouldn't be able to send for the price list.  I will have to face my future doily free.