11.14.2010

Kicking. My. Self.

Okay. Every Sunday, Steven & I go to what I believe to be one of the great undiscovered flea markets in America. It's tiny and very hit or miss, but I consistently find wonderful things that I sell through my Etsy shop, and things that I keep for myself. This morning my run of luck continued at the market, but I made a stunning, unaccountable error -- I failed to buy these:



What was I thinking? Or not thinking? When I first saw them, jumbled in a box on the ground, I assumed they must be old Spode or Wedgwood, the precision and complexity of the decals used was so high. But no, Villeroy & Boch (the Anjou pattern); perhaps it was bourgeois snobbery, in discovering that they were what I consider a lesser maker than I assumed, that led to my stupidity.

The coffee cups:



I know hunting isn't everyone's cup of tea, and I certainly wouldn't partake in the activity. Though the idea of accounting personally for one's source of food is appealing -- and I like that this set points out where the meat being served came from! At least if you're having squirrel, fox, venison, hare, etc. At last, dishes that acknowledge the chase that feeds us.

It probably bothers me less than most. I spent a lot of time in Wisconsin growing up, where a deer strapped to the top of a car or hung from the basketball hoop on a family garage is a common autumnal sight. Moose antlers, collected from the source by my grandfather in Jackson Hole, adorn the top of a hutch at the Red House. Anyway, off topic: dishes.

Luckily, I pointed the set out to Steven's mother (who likely would have found them herself anyway), who was also out this morning, and she immediately fell for them, and wisely claimed the lot, for less than the price of the cheapest set of dishes at Wal-mart. I'm happy they're in the family, and look forward to seeing them at Thanksgiving. The enormous tureen (curiously identified as a vegetable dish):



But really, this has led to a crisis of conscience: do names carry such weight in my appraisal of objects? Gross.

The seller told Ellen (Steven's mother) that she bought them directly from the factory during a trip to Munich with her mother in 1972 (just before the massacre at the Olympics). Portentious pottery?

Mistake. Mistake!

7 comments:

5lime said...

For the record I supported the purchase of this charming set

Daniel-Halifax said...

Stunning! I have a strange thing with deer (ESPECIALLY the Art Deco varietal) so naturally I'm enamored! Was this the S. S----way Flea? I finally made it...nuff said.

Nick Heywood said...

Yes! But keep it under your hat.

Did you find anything? Was it adequately marvelous?

And I'm with you on the art deco deer/gazelles -- when I was a kid, my favorite restaurant to go to was the now dead Como Inn, which was an institution in Chicago that opened as a mob-run club during prohibition -- the ornaments were extraordinary, and at the entrance they had a life size pair of leaping art deco deer, rendered entirely in ... seashells! How I dream of those deer. Where do you think they are now?

Daniel-Halifax said...

In someone's basement waiting for someone like Oprah to find them.

I THANKFULLY went alone, and will never tell a soul. It's like how S---r's used to be! I found a gorgeous lampshade, glasses and forks -all with Art Deco leanings.

MelD said...

How strange that you don't value the time-tested Villery & Boch!!! Is this an American attitude?! Here in Europe, this wouldn't have made it to that sale!
On the other hand, I found a purple transferware tea service that is Wedgwood here in a kind of permanent brocante that we have and snapped it up for a tiny amount ;)) Had it been V&B or Meissen, no chance LOL

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Oh, Nick, I am feeling for you big time. I want that set for myself! But don't flay yourself over it -- it was not meant to be (inhale, exhale, repeat). Something bigger and better is waiting for you to find it...and when you do, I want photos and a story! xx

Anonymous said...

I love both the cup that has the deer on it and the plate that has the men with his dog. They are both beautiful.

-Zane of ontario honey

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