Monday, February 13, 2012

Inspiration Mondays: Not the Only Obsession

Cure for an obsession: get another one. -- Mason Cooley 
I'll admit it: I talk a lot about knitting. And when I'm not talking about knitting, I'm talking about yarn, and when I'm not talking about yarn, I'm talking about spinning, and when I'm not talking about spinning... well... I'm usually not talking.

However, I do have another love:  old stuff. Old letters, old postcards, old newspapers, hats, jewelry, books, teacups and colanders.

Yes, colanders. Among other things.

I've recently fallen into the world of vintage ceramics, specifically teacups and teasets. As I was trawling through the web a few weeks ago looking at cafe au lait bowls, I turned to my husband and said, "Did you ever thing you'd be married to an old biddy like me?"

Wisely, he said nothing. At least he smiled.

One of my recent acquisitions was this sweet little cream jug that I purchased from an Etsy seller called Ancien Esthetique. All I knew of it was that it was made by Villeroy & Boch and that it was old and sweet and pretty. I held back from purchasing it for a few weeks until I realized that I had not seen anything quite like it before. When it arrived and I took it out of the box, I cooed in delight. What a nice wee treasure.

Since then, I've been thinking about how nice it would be to find a sugar bowl to complement it. Since I don't know the first thing about identifying old dinnerware, the first thing I did was look up the Villeroy & Boch website. I scanned the page, read a bit about the company, and then promptly gave up. Pah, I said. They aren't going to be able to help me.

Weeks passed, and I faithfully searched online. I looked at images of Villeroy & Boch cups, plates, teapots, platters, even kitchen fixtures and toilets (apparently, if you're in the ceramic business, you also make toilets). I Googled villeroy, boch, pink, cup, tea, ceramic, peach, cream, jug, sugar in various permutations. I learned about pottery marks, learned about other ceramics manufacturers, looked at more modern patterns. At times, I thought about commissioning one to be made to match, but it just wouldn't be the same as getting the real, aged treasure...

Finally, I sent a message to the Etsy seller and asked her if she knew what pattern it was. She replied, "I don't know I'm sorry. I presume you have researched all Villeroy and Boch related sites."

Ehm, well... not really.

So, I went back to the Villeroy & Boch site and the FAQ section showed this question: "Where can I get help about historical products?" And the answer?

"Please contact Ester Schneider for assistance." And there was an link to her email address.

So, I emailed Ester, and by the next morning she had an answer for me.
Thank you for writing and for your interest in the products of our group.
This jug belonged to a dinnerware named "Santos" and was available during the 1950ies. Sometimes there are offers to find under "Karslruhe" which is the name of the shape.
I hope, I can help with this information and remain with kind regards
Ester Schneider
So, I could have saved weeks obsessing over Google searches by just biting the bullet and asking the experts. Heh.

Well, I'm glad to finally know where my little treasure is from, and hopefully, armed with this information, I will find a little partner for it. And in case you're wondering, my obsession has not lessened one bit. If anything, the interwebs will be buzzing with all my future searches... something like, sugar, bowl, santos, vintage, pink.

Ah, sweet insanity. What fun you bring to my life.


  1. What a lovely little pot. I hope you find its match.
    And hey if you feel like showing off any of your tea cups or teapot here, I promise to make appropriate OOOs and Ahhs.

    1. Ooo, just say the word, and I'll flood this blog with my teacup wishlist!

    2. You know not the creature you have unleashed...