Bowled over

My grandmother and her sisters were great cooks. Each with her own area of expertise, grandma was the baker. One of my favorite memories is of huge salt-glazed crock bowls of dough rising on the stove, covered with a tea towel she embroidered herself. She's been gone a long time, but I've got those bowls, and one of the tea towels. That's how the collection got started.

The most recent addition is pictured above. If you spend any time in antique stores or malls, you've seen the barrel pitchers, pottery embossed to look like a wooden barrel. An auction last weekend contained a huge collection of old yellow ware, including this barrel bowl. It's in pristine condition and I've never seen one before, and I was thrilled when one of the ringmen finally picked it up to sell. I waited nearly 3 hours for it, I'm not sure if that's embarassing or a point of pride.

I'm also pretty omnivorous in the type of bowl I like. These glazed bowls are all marked USA, with the exception of the pale blue one on the far right, which I believe is unmarked Bauer ringware. I use my bowls for cooking, and often for serving, so I don't buy anything cracked. Chips don't bother me if they're small.

My favorites, from a visual standpoint at least, are the striped ones. Martha Stewart ruined the market on these years ago, but I've noticed prices seem to be trending back down. Really small ones, or complete nested sets can still set you back, but single bowls seem to be pretty reasonable again. Mine have come from auctions and estate sales, a few from eBay, and a couple were gifts from a friend when she thinned her collection.

Here they are all together on the workbench in the dining room. For now I keep them nested up in a cabinet, although I've already started planning for display/storage in the next kitchen. When I pulled them all out to shoot them Brett and I were both surprised at how many I've amassed. It doesn't seem so big until you unstack and spread them out.

Oh, and this doesn't include the white ones. Porcelain, ironstone, salt-glaze and restaurant ware. I'll save those for another post.


Decorina said...

That is a great, great collection. I know what you mean though - I collect majolica (with rules of course...) and moved around a bit during my acquisition period. So last Xmas when I decided to get some shelves for display it overran the shelves big time.

I wonder why none of my recent posts showed up? Gotta check up on that thing.

More later David. I need to go to the optomitrists and check out some frames. They ordered some of the weird stuff for me because their middle of the road stuff just doesn't cut it for me. And the Vera Wang frames I loved are discontinued and only $80 - I may need those.


designerman said...

those look so great together!