Friday, February 20, 2009

Today's Findings: The Good, The Odd, And The Ugly

On my lunch break today, I wandered once again into Sal's Treasure Hut, on Route 34, in Derby, and toured his prodigious collection of antiques, collectibles, and outright junk.

I like things that are old. I also like things that are a little odd, or even mildly weird. I like things that are rustic and not too delicate. And I especially like things that are not only decorative, but also readily functional in some capacity. Today, I ended up harvesting some glassware which collectively seems to satisfy most of those requirements.

The Good
This stoneware crock (I am very fond of stoneware, generally) has an attractive blue floral design, a wire handle, and drainage holes bored into the bottom. I'll probably use it as an extra crock for utensils, or maybe even for a small house plant:



The Odd
These two, small, oddly shaped, blue-glass pitchers are examples of the kind of glassware I like to collect for adorning window sills. I have a number of pieces like this: green glass, some reds, yellows, and a lot of blues. They have a nice way of sparkling in the sunlight when filled with water, and are ideal for holding small cuttings.

They make me think about life in early colonial days, when decent home decorations (and just about anything tinted blue) were hard to come by. Small colored glass bottles or containers brought over from Europe must have been viewed as a rare thing to have:



The Ugly
Somehow a tad ugly, somehow very beautiful, this bizarre looking stoneware creamer has a spout that was sharply pinched for precise pouring. But how very strange that so much of the flared top had been pulled in alongside the spout! Was this done intentionally? Who knows? But it's definitely a rare looking piece.

It has a nice, blue, floral pattern and also matches the crock nicely. I'll probably use it for an artificial floral piece, or maybe a small, live plant. But not as a creamer -- I never use old pieces like this for serving, because you never can be sure that they do not contain lead. Rather, I only use modern, purchased stoneware and reproduction pewter for serving and dining:

6 comments:

Shellmo said...

You have great taste - I love it all! I didn't think the creamer was ugly - but definitely a good consversation piece. :)

John Poole said...

Thanks, Shelley!

I agree with you...the creamer isn't really ugly at all. Just very unusually shaped. But I needed to tag one piece as ugly to get the title of the posting to fit. That's the writer in me claiming literary license!

Have a great weekend, and please don't get stuck in the snow!

- John

Maureen said...

Your "creamer" as a shape that reminds me of a Spanish sangria pitcher. The idea is that the fruit in the wine will stay in the pitcher and not flow into the goblet. Could it be??

John Poole said...

Hi Maureen,

Thanks for the comment!

I agree with you that it does indeed resemble the shape of a sangria pitcher. However, the creamer is actually very small; too small to really function as a pitcher, in the proper sense (I think the photo makes the creamer look larger than it is). But otherwise, I think that's a very plausible interpretation of its shape.

- John

Sal and Ruf Mom said...

It's all great, my aunt in PA collects depression glass, I don't know if that includes the blue but it all looks great to me.
Sally and Rufus' Dogmom

John Poole said...

Dear Sally and Rufus' Dogmom:

Thanks for your comments! And welcome to my blog.

Yes, the blue could very well be depression glass; I am going to show them to a friend of mine who's an expert on depression glass. The only depression glass I am familiar with is that slightly pink, wavy glassware with bubbles in it, if you are familiar with that style.

Regards,
John