Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dilemma

So here's a question for you:

Yesterday we went junking--it was pouring rain pretty much all day and it was a good day to mosey around and see what we could find.

We were driving along the Ohio River between Point Pleasant, WV and Pomeroy, OH when we saw a handwritten sign that said, "Flea Market." You know what I said, right? "Turn around!" Which Larry obligingly did. It didn't look promising at first glance. A wizened old man stood in his muddy gravel driveway, and there was a shed with the doors standing open and piles of junk that had probably been there since he was a lot less wrinkled. Grime pretty well coated it all, and the old man followed us around pointing out the great value of items that honestly should have been in the trash long ago. Back in the corner, though, I found a dirty cardboard box with these inside:


I recognized the dishes as restaurant ware and I have learned recently that this is a highly collectible area these days. I thought the dishes were pretty too, so, "How much?" I asked. I had a few other things in my hand--a Fire King coffee cup, a Pyrex coffee cup, a stained glass ornament--and the old man scanned them all and said, "Ten dollars for the lot." I counted 13 sandwich/dessert plates, 4 dinner plates, 7 cups and 7 cream pitchers. Could I sell them for more than that? Would it be worth the trouble?

Well, I bought them. And washed them up. I think they look stunning.




The gold and green bands against the shiny white china are just so pretty. They were made by the Shenango China Company of Newcastle, PA, and I learned after doing a bit of research that based on the "B-41" mark on most of them, they were made in 1983. Shenango was bought in the 1970's by Anchor Hocking, then sold to another company who liquidated the company in the late '80s. Although I spent a couple hours looking, I did not find this particular pattern anywhere online.

I like them so much I'm thinking I might keep at least 4 dinner plates, 4 cups and 4 dessert plates. But I already have plenty of dishes and don't really need any more. I could sell some of the ones I currently use, though--like this set here:


These dishes were made by the Atlas-Globe China Company of Cambridge, Ohio, in the early 1930's and were part of their Broadway Rose line. The company folded soon after, probably due to the depression. I have enjoyed these dishes for their shape, their pale pink color and the pretty daffodil pattern. But it would not break my heart to sell them.

So, what do you think? Sell the all of the Shenango china and keep my daffodil plates? Or keep the 4 place settings of Shenango and sell the Broadway Rose and remaining Shenango? What would you do?

14 comments:

Janet, said...

You got a good deal on those, but I love the flowery ones, I would keep them. I have an old pitcher (that goes with a wash bowl)that was made my shenango china company.

A Vintage Green said...

Hi Sue;
Shenango is heavier than regular china but you did find a very pretty set, actually quite elegant. Use a portion. Sell the pieces you don't need. I have noticed more resturantware selling this year than the last several years. Of course I 'donated' piles of the stuff a few years ago after sitting on it for so long. Live and learn. I've never found such an elegant set though as you found.
- Joy

Granny Sue said...

I read online, Janet, that people in Newcastle would turn over hotelware wherever they went to see if it was Shenango. They also seem to have made a lot of dishes for the railroads, and some of it is just beautiful. What color is your pitcher? You might have to post a photo of it sometime.

Granny Sue said...

Joy, I was surprised to find that people collected the restaurant dishes. I like some of them myself--I have a heavy white coffee mug that is one of my favorites because it keeps my coffee hot a long time. Larry has one that's a blue willow pattern and he likes his for the same reason.

When I look at things on eBay I can see that while a lot of people are looking, many items don't have any bids. That tells me there might be more sellers than buyers. So just because it's listed for $$$ doesn't mean anyone is willing to pay it. I think I will do as you suggest, sell the extra pieces and keep the others. And probably sell the daffodil plates too. I've had them a good while and never realized that they were so old. Now I'm worried about continuing to use them for everyday!

Brighid said...

What about putting them on Etsy...along with your books/cd's? That may pull in more decorators, or do something along the lines of
www.BarnHouseMarket.com

My vote is to sell the pieces that you don't love and enjoy the one you keep.

Nance said...

I love the Broadway Rose plates. I have plates of that shape -- but they aren't decorated. They don't have any design. Have fun, whatever you decide. And keep the ones you love!

Jim K said...

I'm originally from Syracuse, NY and I cant attest to on various occasions seeing relatives check plates to see if they were Syracuse China or the flatware to see if it was from Oneida. I'm afraid that on a few occasions I've embarrassed my wife by doing the same thing.

Susanna said...

I love it, Jim! Another friend told me she was raised in New Castle and she still looks at the backs of the plates too. I'm guilty of doing it at antique shops and yard sales but I suppose that's expected behavior at such places.

Susanna said...

Good suggestions, Brighid. I have not tried selling anything on etsy yet, and I don't think I've ever purchased anything there either. I need to do some exploring, I see.

Nance, I have another plate that's a similar shape too, with no decoration on it. It must have been a fad at one time, do you think?

Mountainword said...

You could always do what I've done, that is mix and match. I think its more fun to have different plates, cups, etc - and both of those sets have similar colors, so it could work. Put one of the Shenango cups on a daffodil saucer and see how that works, or vice versa.

Granny Kate said...

Which ones tug at a memory? Those are the ones to keep. You can always sell later if you discover that the dishware love was the fleeting kind.

Granny Sue said...

Jason, I think all my dishes are mix-and-match! I like that look a lot.

Memories--I'll be honest and say none of these do, they were both auction/flea market finds that I bought for their looks and potential value. The daffodil plates were in a box of junk at an auction, the kind that has Tupperware and Beanie Babies mixed with lawn sprinklers and dishes. It's fun exploring their depths to see what's in there.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Granny Sue -- Keep the four place settings of the Shenango China Company -- they are indestructible. -- barbara

Granny Sue said...

Now that's true, Barbara. And with so many grandchildren, a good idea :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...