Sunday, December 2nd, 2012 08:45 am
I say our ancestors, because I've always loved old stuff, and some of this did not come from my ancestors.

I don't have a microwave. I don't have a dishwasher, or a clothes dryer.

It's just me and the small "petting zoo" (that's what my son calls it) of companion animals here at the cottage, and I don't mind doing things the old-fashioned way.

My kitchen has stuff in it that my immediate ancestors would have used (and in many cases, someone's did) 50, 75, and 100 years ago.

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I was a young, poor, single mother 25 years ago when I saw some pretty dishes at a flea market. I wanted to be able to dress up my table.

Royal Warwick's Lochs of Scotland dinnerware was just the ticket.

This pattern is Loch Duich.
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I collected a few pieces - mostly dinner and luncheon plates, and the little sauce bowls.

Apparently they really caught on with the collectors' community, because I was horrified at the price of those luncheon plates in subsequent years. One of them was worth what I had invested in my entire collection to date.

My step-mom handled that for me. During the years she and my dad lived in Michigan, they haunted estate sales, including some in Canada. She bought me another dozen dinner plates, some cups and saucers, and the prize.

The coffee pot. Today fetching a cool $200.
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The coffee pot sits on the shelf above my salt glaze pottery Santas from Rowe Pottery Works.

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Salt glaze pottery was the dominant domestic pottery in use in the United States in the 19th century. I started collecting - and using - salt glaze pottery in the 1980s, and still give it a work-out today.

The green rimmed bowl nested inside the yellow one in this photo was another one I found at a flea market during my young single mom years, because I needed a bowl that size. In those days, I never paid more than $3 or $4 dollars for a piece like this.

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It really wasn't until a few years ago when I flipped that bowl over to wash the outside of it, and saw Watt on the bottom.

The Watt pottery was a family owned pottery in Perry Co., OH. They manufactured pottery from 1922 to 1965.

And no one will ever pay $3 or $4 for that bowl again.

My maternal grandmother died in 1998. She had a lot of stuff for her grandkids to divvy up.

There were two complete services for 12 of very ornate china, one of which I recall seeing at the "grown-ups" table at family gatherings. There was a complete silver service.

But I was drawn to the clean and simple lines of a few blue serving pieces. A couple of platters and serving bowls, one of them covered.

Like the ones behind some of my collection of old salt and pepper shakers.
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Those turned out to be from the Iroquois Casual pattern of dinnerware made by Russel Wright, manufactured for him 1939 and 1959 by Steubenville Pottery in Steubenville, OH.
Go fling open some of your cabinet doors.

See what you find.

Then do one of my favorite meditations as you wash the dust off that old bowl or platter, or polish up some silver.

Let your mind wander back to a time when an ancestor - someone's ancestor - did the very same thing.
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