I wanted to take a little bit of time to wish all of my fellow willowers a very Merry Christmas. This year is not like any other. Some of us have not taken the time to shop in stores but rather online to avoid this virus, others are out and about. Regardless, gathering without all of the family makes things a little less real and sometimes less cheery. But life still must go on.
My family and I celebrated at home yesterday evening so we can mask up and go visit my mom today. I miss the many shopping trips we would have made to prep for this time of year. We will still make the best of it today. For that I am thankful.
My lovely husband purchased me some beautiful black and gold willow bowls I had been looking for to match my Christmas place setting. I also got some new pans, towels and kitchen gadgets. All of which were much needed. The highlight of my day yesterday was getting my new glasses so I could hopefully see a little better.
This year Ben got me a beautiful Tiffany necklace to match the one he purchased me in Rockefeller Center last year. For the past several years, we took a weekend trip to NYC to purchase Christmas gifts, sip on hot chocolate, take a carriage ride through Central park and enjoy ourselves. This year, there was no way to make that happen. So he simply purchased from a Tiffany in Pittsburgh. I love it anyway. I just miss the last vacation of the year we normally take to get a much needed break.
I did have some breakthroughs in researching the piece I posted about last. The “Swinging Coffee pot”.
I did receive some feedback from others, mostly negative comments about what this pot was not versus what it might be. As a collector, I will make mistakes on identification, use of an item, but as I post and share more, and listen to those who are willing to take the time to “teach” me versus condemn me for an inaccuracy, I will get better at this.
One of the comments questioned whether this piece was registered. It in fact is registered. I was finally able to get my internet back up after a snow and the research came a little easier.
The first step to identifying the mark was to determine what each letter and respective number meant so I could date the piece. I used the following document to help me identify the month, day and year of the registered piece.
Turns out June 7th 1882, the silver portion of this item was registered. I located the information on the UK National Archives. I also took the time to dig in and determine if the manufacturer I think made the piece had applied a marking that agreed with other sites.
Here is the mark on my piece:
I traced the mark using a British Hallmark website: English electroplate silver: marks and hallmarks of British silver plate: Ha-Hh (silvercollection.it) It is a match to the very last mark! Success.
Next I went to the National Archives and searched for the respective date in the Earthenware portion of the search engine. I found the following:
I had one collector reach out to me and clued me in to what I was looking for. He didn’t comment on the page but rather messaged me, told me he loved the piece, but could I check and see if there was was a strainer in the spout of the pot. This would clue me in as to whether it was used for tea or coffee. If the spout had a strainer it was for tea. If not, it was most likely coffee. This made me use the key word coffee in my search and helped me get to the registry details above.
I have ordered the transcripts of this registration but don’t yet have them. I will share them once I get them. A search of the manufacturer gave me some insight into where items were made, etc. This data only relates to the silver portion of my pot, not the entire piece. The pottery portion was without a doubt made by someone else, but who?
In researching I found a toast rack made by WW Harrison as well online. The base of the toast rack is in a red willow pattern. The impressed mark is almost warn away but says Brownfield’s. A picture is below. I went ahead an began researching this manufacturer. The toast rack silver portion I found registered in October or December of 1882, the same year of the coffee pot, so maybe the same pottery was used.
Now before you jump too quick, I do not know if Brownfield made the willow pot, but it would make sense if he used them for the pottery portion a little later in the year, they may have made the Swinging Coffee Pot as well.
In the end, I think I have learned something with all of this. I think I have learned not to let the negativity get the best of you. I will continue to post regardless of how others view my post. We are all at different stages in our collecting and all at different stages of knowledge as well and that is ok.
Merry Christmas everyone. I will update you when I get my registered info from the National Archives.