Monday, July 7, 2014

A Little Collection of Americana


It took yet another trip over the weekend before I could achieve my Fourth of July goal. The bonus was that there were three additional pieces to add to my new Southern Potteries collection when I returned to the antique shop on the day it finally was open.

If strike one was forgetting to check the shop on the evening when we were first in town and strike two came when I drove back on the Fourth of July—a twenty minute drive to the north of my home—then I’m certainly glad that my third trip was a charm and not my chance to strike out.

The prize was the platter and serving bowl I had spied while in town on another errand last week—two pieces of Blue Ridge china made at the company where my grand aunt Chevis Davis Chitwood Kyte once worked as a decorator in Erwin, Tennessee.

The unexpected bonus was the discovery of a serving piece and salt and pepper shakers in an entirely different pattern, also a design of Southern Potteries, Inc.


While collecting pieces of Blue Ridge China may be all the rage in some circles, that is not why I succumbed to the notion of becoming a collector. My purpose is not to learn everything there is to know about the many unique patterns which sprang from this creative enclave—and believe me, there are some who are well versed in every permutation—but simply to have and to hold a piece of my own family’s heritage. When I look at these faded pieces with their crackled glaze, I see not the product lines of a commercial entity, but the handiwork of someone just like my aunt, working where she used to work, doing what she used to do, day in and day out in her own hometown.

If genealogy as a concept could ever become converted to something tangible, this is it. Getting my hands on those pieces of china is like reaching out to touch someone in my family whom I never had the chance to know.

9 comments:

  1. I knew you'd do it! Excellent purchases, especially the little leaf-shaped serving piece.

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    1. I knew you'd approve, Wendy! Each of the patterns is so different, but shares that same exuberant expression, so I couldn't resist :)

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  2. Such bright, cheerful colors!! The handle dish looks like a relish or condiments server to me... not that I know.

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    1. I'm with you on this one, Iggy. I have no idea what to call that leaf-shaped dish. I'm thinking it would be for small hors d'oeuvres or maybe candy. I'm sure someone here will know exactly what to call a piece like this one.

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    2. I was trying to think of the name too. I tried "tidbit" but those are usually tiered. I have a "plate" with a looped handle in the center that was used to serve small sandwiches, and a miniature version used to serve lemons, but I suspect your leaf plate wouldn't hold many sandwiches, so I don't think it's a sandwich server. I guess candy dish.

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    3. I happened to check one of my bowls and wuddayaknow -- it's by Southern which is the same as Blue Ridge, I think. So I went to eBay to check its value and spied your finger-loop handled leaf plate. The seller is calling it a pickle and relish dish. (But I'm sure no one will care if you serve candy on it!)

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    4. Ah...so you figured out which "someone here" I had in mind! Yes, Blue Ridge is by Southern Potteries. I can see this being considered a pickle and relish dish. Thanks so much for finding that, Wendy! Now I can serve pickles on that dish with a relish ;)

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  3. Beautiful pieces, now are you going to use them or just look at them? I would put small cookies on that leaf shaped tray:)

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    1. Use them or look at them? How about both :)

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