Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Great Story

Many many years ago, before my son was even born, I was treasure hunting with my Mom when I came upon the dishes in the photo above.  They were individually priced but I didn't take the time to add them all up, instead I went up and asked the dealer "how much for all of them?"  She thought for a minute and replied, $80.  I said, I'll take them.

A few months later I saw them in Barbara Milo Ohrbach's book, Antiques At Home. 

You can imagine my excitement to have my treasure and my eye confirmed in this gorgeous book!  I always buy what I love but many times I haven't a clue of it's origin or provenance which is the best part.

  For example, just the other day I was out with my friend, Lisa, when I came across another treasure.  I was in love but again clueless as to exactly what it was.


As I brought it to the register I showed it to her and she said, "what a fabulous biscuit barrel!"  I said, "you know what this is?"  


She said, "it's Treenware and still has the porcelain liner intact. That's a great find!"


I knew it was lovely but I was thrilled to know what it was.  OK, I admit, Lisa is pretty knowledgeable and a great friend to take on a treasure hunting adventure but I went on to test several other shoppers to see if they knew what it was. You guessed it, they were just like me, although they did come up with some good guesses like a humidor.

 Several years later my Mom and I took some things to be appraised at the auction house Butterfield & Butterfield in San Francisco.  At the last minute I grabbed a few of my dishes off the shelf and tucked them in my bag.

  When the appraiser came to them she immediately perked up and exclaimed, "Ohhhh, do you have more of these?" I replied, "yes" and she asked, "what else do you have?"  I told her and she told me they were Arts & Crafts lettuce leaf Majolica made about 1870 in New Milford, Connecticut and were worth $800 to $1000 at auction.  

I was pretty young at the time and was shocked that I had found something that turned out to be so special.  I'll never forget that day.

  My dear friend, Ron Morgan, the man behind LOOT,  who I blog about frequently and who has the absolute best taste and most fabulous eye in the world, is completely smitten with them and teases me every time he comes over about wanting them, which of course makes me want to keep them even more! 

So, the moral of the story is...
Always buy what you love, trust your gut, and don't be afraid to ask for a group price!


Angie said...

Great advice!!

Unknown said...

Terri - what a great lesson. Buy what you love, trust your gut and bargain!!!! Love your finds!

xoxo E

Pamela Hunt Lee said...

I agree! No matter what, buy what you love! Clothing, Art, Collectibles, Food... be passionate about your possessions.

A Perfect Gray said...

absolutely wonderful story, Terri. so much fun to read about your adventures and finds! those dishes are amazing and I bet you would not part with them even for the appraised price, because of the fun and excitement they represent.

loved that!


La Brocanteuse said...

Hello T! I couldn't agree with you more about trusting your "gut" this has proven more then once that one is on the right track..thank you for sharing your lovely plates with us.
xo Colette

Jen said...

Look at those dishes... I LOVE them!!

Anonymous said...


I agree with your premise though - why buy what you don't love? Well done, brilliant eye!

La Petite Gallery said...

I am having flash backs of a favorite movie. GOODBYE MR.CHIPS. The movie had Robert Donat
an Greer Garson. That Biscuit keeper was a gift from the boys to Mr.Chips on retireme. You have to see the old movie and see the biscuit keeper.
Excited for you.


FrenchBlue said...

Your stories are great! To buy what you love is special but then to get confirmation your eye is special and reassuring!! Amazing dishes. I have always always loved the cabbage theme on pottery. I love it!

Thank you for your comment on my post you confirm my thoughts exactly. This is why I LOVE learns they are not alone~

Hugs to a good week full of treaure hunting for you!

vignette design said...

I have been a collector of majolica for years and am crazy about your lettuce leaf plates. They are definitely very valuable. And I love how they look in your hutch, which by the way is so similar to mine. The lower portion of my hutch is exactly like yours. My husband bought it for me for my birthday a few years ago at the Hillsborough Antique Show. It replaced my pine hutch which I had purchased from, of all dealers: Ron Morgan!
Ok, when are we gonna meet up!? Would love to go antiquing with you and Lisa! And a Christmas get together would be a blast. I've been talking about hosting a blogger party for a while. I seem to be centrally located. xoxo Delores

Beach House Living said...

Oh my! I shouldn't have given away the few that I found in box. Ut oh! As for your barrel I wold have said ice bucket.

Kathy said...

Lovely story.....and lucky you...fabulous finds! (the three demijohns are winners too!)...nice post....K

Privet and Holly said...

Good golly, I cannot
wait to go treasure
hunting with YOU!!!
You absolutely DO have
the eye....It's a
gift, as is trusting
your instincts. Great
story, Terri!
xx Suzanne

Linda in AZ * said...

* T~ Loved your note... MANY THANKS, & I will write back "later" (busy getting "ready" for a big dinner party for 80-100 at our house, in a few weeks, so it's pretty hectic around here as you can imagine!)...

Anyhoooo, those dishes ARRRRE too fabulous... TOTALLY enchanting, to say the least, and they DO look SOOO good in your hutch!!! Oh YES! ME LIKEY ~ MUCHO!!! Delores (@ Vignette Design~ a FAAAABULOUS blog, AND she's a darling, too!) WOULD love to see your collection... she has a magnificent one herself!).

Question: Are you "sure" that's a biscuit barrell? I bought one on Portobello Rd in England, many years ago. It, too, had the liner, & was in perfect condition. I had THOUGHT it was an "individual" ice bucket~ either way, I loved it & still do! LATER on during our trip, we stayed at an incredible "B&B" in Scotland and lo' and behold, there it was in our room, HOLDING ICE on a small, fab table ALSO holding 2 glasses n' "drinks". Sooooo, "who really KNOWS", hmmmm??? Either way, they make us "HAPPY" & I think THAT'S the important thing!

Wonderful n' fun read (& pics) today, m' friend!

Warmest thanks,
Linda in AZ *

Blooming Rose Musings said...

You obviously have a very natural instinct for just the right find! Your dishes are gorgeous. I couldn't agree more...always follow what you love and most of the time you are rewarded for it. I think that's true for both treasure hunting and life in general, don't you?
Great post my sweet friend. Sending you many hugs.

lisaroy said...

It certainly helps that you have an amazing eye and great taste! What an amazing find and I'd be hanging onto them too! :)

A Casa da Vá said...

Love the concept of buying what you love... I am happy in your case it happens to be so valuable, lucky you!

" SHABBY JUNK" said...

ok I have a barrell like you got and saw it at another place as a humidor. Wonder what it really is??haha

Cashon&Co said...

I have a biscuit barrel just like this! We do share the same genes somehow!

O said...

My guess is that your buiscuit barrel is an ice keeper. :-)