Monday, August 4, 2008

Find of the century

This weekend John and I went Yard Salein’, in other words, we shopped for junk that people no longer wanted anymore so we could stuff our house with their junk that we probably don’t necessarily need. I know not everyone calls them yard sales. That might be a New England term. I have heard people call it a tag sale, or a garage sale, heck in England they call it a car boot sale. Here in RI we call it a yard sale. We haven’t ventured out in years. One reason is you really need to get out nice and early to get the good stuff before it’s all picked over. We do get up really early most weekends, we just aren’t dressed and ready to go out is all.

Saturday we were ready. We headed out about 8am, cause those yard salers don’t like early birds. That’s all you see on every sign posted on every pole in town “Yard Sale, 125 Main Street, 8 – 4pm, NO EARLY BIRDS”. So we weren’t early birds. We only found 5 yard sales but I did get 3 great finds. At the first stop I found a really heavy glass pedestal glass cake stand with a domed cover for $2. It looks beautiful on my table filled with goodies. The 2nd find was a Pyrex 9x9 glass-baking dish. I’ve been looking for a 9x9 for like forever. Another $2 bargain.

The biggest and absolute best find was at the last yard sale we went to that was just down the road from our house. I saw it as we were walking up the driveway. A big, beautiful bowl with gorgeous blue flowers on it. This thing was huge. I flipped it over and it said it was porcelain and made in England. I knew it had to be fairly old. I asked the yard sale proprietor and she told me that it was her friends who lived across the street. She thought it was $15 but if I would wait she would be right back. Seems she had to go across the street to feed her husband. The woman’s trying to sell her junk, get your own lunch old man! Ok that was not nice, but anyhow…….they ended up calling her cause I was getting tired of waiting. The yard sale lady told her I was interested in the bowl and would I take $10 for it. Yes she said. See it always pays to haggle. I was thrilled, handed her $10, tucked it under my arm and off I went, fulfilled in my yard sales bargains for the day. I was looking for vintage tablecloths, but that never came to be, oh well.

Just look at this beautiful bowl. I just love it.

I get home and I start to research the markings on the back of the bowl. It took me a good hour and a half before I finally found the information. It seems the potter who made my bowl only used this particular marking between the years 1895 – 1901 in Tunstall, England. My beautiful bowl was over a hundred years old!

A century. How cool is that? I was just thrilled. Knowing that over a hundred years ago someone saw that same bowl which now sits in my house and brought it home for her family, or maybe it was a special wedding present, adored by the happy couple for years and years, or it could have been a family heirloom, passed down from generation to generation, the possibilities are endless.

I’d like to think it was used by someone very much like me, who loved to cook for her family, who smiled every time she took it off the shelf to use it, who valued the craftsmanship that went into making it, and was very happy to hold on to it for awhile before it was passed down to someone else to use and enjoy.

I have a few “things” in my life that I treasure. My great grandmothers rolling pin, my great grandfathers wooden match holder, my great-great grandfathers scale that hung in his store little store, my grandmothers thick quilt, and now I have this bowl. This beautiful bowl that will be filled with all things delicious and treasured for years to come.

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