Yesterday Manon and I were browsing in the thrift shop in Sechelt and I saw this bowl.
I knew it was old and I knew I wanted it. I thought it would be perfect for lemons. It was ten dollars. When I took up to the counter, the volunteer who rang it in and wrapped it in brown paper told me it had just come in that morning. It needs a good washing, she commented, but she also agreed it was pretty.
When we got home, I washed it and spent some time examining it. This is the mark on the bottom:
Some searching on the Internet solved one or two of its mysteries. Apparently it’s a piece of Minton ironstone. The design was created in 1823 but Minton didn’t start putting their name on the bottom of this particular design until 1861. So that tells me that yes, it’s very old. Very beautiful. Probably not hugely valuable — it’s not chipped but the glaze on the inside is crackled, the way old glazes do go kind of crazy, and it’s clearly been used. It’s certainly worth the ten dollars I paid for it and possibly more. One went for 250 USD at a recent auction.
Who donated such a lovely piece to the thrift store? What are its stories? Was it part of a set? I think of it surviving more than a century without being broken or otherwise damaged to arrive on a Wednesday morning in a thrift shop on the Sechelt Peninsula where I saw it from across the room and immediately wanted to take it home.
I bought it to use. And you know, it’s perfect for lemons.