Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weekend Treasures !

Last weekend, we went treasure-hunting. With the onset of spring, folks have started venturing out again. Couldn't think of anything better to do, than fishing out some bric-a-brac and spending some "quality time" restoring them to their days of gone-by elegance.

A word of caution: What you are seeing here as gleaming white china, silverware and furniture did not look so when we got it. Many were coated with layers of dirt, and dust, or oxidation, and required several backbreaking hours of labor to get them in this condition, since most of these were already in very fragile condition and required several rounds of hand washing.
Even more grueling was the countless digging-hours spent with our toddler who had absolutely no pleasure in antique hunting. (and who was all the more upset when we did not buy him the $100 vintage toy car that he spotted!)
Disclaimer: So attempt salvaging pleasures at your own risk. :) It's rewarding, and greatly frustrating at the same. If giving up your entire weekend (including grocery shopping) doesn't sound like that great an idea to you, then please do not attempt this. Happy Blogging- Joe & Aswathy.

We were unable to determine the era of this fine dutch ashtray. It has a stamp "HOLLAND". Estimate 1940-50's sterling silver plated. The picture depicts seven men who look like soldiers (since they are wearing swords) at a tavern. A dog is in the foreground.

Set of six coasters. Paper on Cork. Looks like more recent (60's-70's?). All are line drawings of various historic buildings in Boston. The pieces came wrapped in a case marked Vistaprint, Made in Britain. The artist, whose signature is below each drawing bears the name of "Guy Magnus". Looks like a lesser known artist, and the only trace we could find is of an Auction record on, which sold 8 Guy Magnus, pen and ink drawings of town scenes. We are guessing that these could have been the originals of the images shown on these coasters- since these are also drawings of town scenes in Boston, but only 6 of them.
After a whole afternoon of searching for the history of this basket- ranging from Corporate Logo Evolution of Sears, and countless bassinets and baskets, we estimate this to be a 1920's-30's era doll accessory. Little girls played with the popular "Honeysuckle" Brand of buggies- of which the above basket was a part of. It has the label "Sears, Roebuck & Co"- now known as SEARS. It also says "Honeysuckle" Brand on the inside. The basket is amazingly sturdy, and in great condition for a piece clocking 80-90 years! Please give a hearty welcome to our new laundry basket.

The above is a Lithograph of a series known as Herring's fox hunting scenes. "Breaking Cover" is the title of this litho. The original is a mid 1800's painting-Painted by J. F. Herring Sr. ( 1795 - 1865), and several engraved reproductions were made in later years. (This one could be 1950's or 60's based on the condition). It came in a solid wood gilded frame, with glass, in good condition and with no foxing (age related brown spots that we see on old paper and documents) on the litho.

We are using the above creamer-like cup for storing salt within easy access, with a tiny little spoon to go with it. There is no make or mark on this one, but we picked it up because we really liked it. Sometime you just have to go with your heart.

A single plate from one of Joe's favorite China manufacturers- Mottahedeh. The white is actually pale gray in daylight. Early Chinese porcelains had a definite gray-blue cast, which is called gray body. Mottahedeh makes many Chinese reproductions and gray body is often used. (Actually this one was manufactured for Mottahedeh by an Portugese company called Vista Alegre).
This one's a rare gem! Need to do some more research on what period this piece belongs to, so at this point we really dont know. (More on Mottahedeh at

2 Vintage Noritake Mini-cups with "Ear of Corn/wheat" pattern. (By the way, Ear of Wheat/Corn has been a symbol of prosperity in many cultures and ceremonies). Still around as a fine china leader, Nortitake (of Japan) has been making Fine Bone China since 1904 (We got hooked onto Noritake even since we got our first full china set 2 years ago). The pair above is from around 1954.

We got 4 pieces of very delicate vintage white porcelain. These have a large(wide) mouth that makes it very easy to sip tea or coffee, and have a border of green leaves and very dainty white flowers with an aged platinum trim. The bottom is stamped with a black crown - the insignia of St. Regis Fine China , a Japanese porcelain manufacturer of yore. The cup is aprox 5 inches including handle x approx 2 inches.

Antique Brass Tray- Solid Brass, oval tray that has brass railings on the side (looks like bamboo-railings). Havent seen one like this before. It's heavy, but can serve 10-12 large cups easily (8 with saucers!). We've been looking for a tray that can hold a lot of stuff because often we find smaller cute ones, but they are not practical even when we are serving for 4 people.

The saucer that's sitting in the tray was a single odd piece that we got. The image is that of a Victorian era couple in a garden. The manufacturer is Harker Pottery Co. that has been around since the 1840's till as recent as 1970 when they closed down. The logo behind seems to be from somewhere around 1940-1950, and says 22Kt. Gold. (Dont worry, its not worth as much as solid gold. Many ceramic manufacturers use a very thin etching of gold to coat the prints on their fine ceramic ware).


  1. Cool picks! The ashtray with the picture delicately etched in silver, looks classy. I love the rocker..the white color & the cane backrest blends in with the coziness of the piece. The creamer cup is a beauty too!

    Great collection. Keep it growing! Will soon gatecrash and take a peek :)

  2. Very beautiful- a fellow treasure hunter indeed!

  3. I've looked thru all the posts today... just so I didnt miss anything... I'm very impressed with your creativity!!! Also.. can I come shopping with you??? or treasure hunting... PLEASE!

  4. I have that bassinet on legs with wheels that fold up. Seems is was mine, 6/14/47. I bought it from an auction of my uncle's belongings. He lived in the old homeplace. I think I will take a picture of it (not into antiques) and sell it but can't find the value of it. After searching on the internet, duh, DH found the name inside the bassinet, "Honeysuckle" by Sears Roebuck. Joan Lowder,


Thanks for visiting! Your comments mean a lot to us..So please let us know what you think.