Limoges platesI thought it would be fun to arrange this blog post in order of my top ten finds of the year. Of course there are more than ten...but these are the best! Oddly enough, there are no duds. (Another thing you may disagree on, as one person's treasure is another's trash.) Herewith, the List:
1. Hammersley and Roses...and Tiles
All right, that's at least two items. But if we're going to make this top ten thing work efficiently, I'll have to stuff them in. Also, I can't decide which I love most, my flowery chintz Hammersley pieces, or my beautiful hand-painted Italian tiles. Certainly, the lot together makes our pathetic closet of a 1960s kitchenette look Paradisal to me.
Hm, I packed rather a lot into #1. Let's move on, then, to Plates.
2. Big plates. Turkish plate, found in Salvation Army. I'm told it shows scenes of the comic Turkish folklore figure Nasruddin.
But as long as we're looking at large plates, I also love this one from Portugal (another Sally Ann find), and that also gives me a chance to show a pair of dear little Murano glass red birds.
And here's the plate with a piece of Parian ware on it. Do you know Parian ware? I first read of it in Little Women, when Laurie gave a piece to Meg for her wedding: "I don't think the Parian Psyche Laurie gave lost any of its beauty because John put up the bracket it stood upon." This reproduction is from the Met, and the price at Sally Ann was about a tenth of retail at the Met.
One more plate. A Bavarian pretty, which is now home to several of my little animals.
And that brings us to:
3. Favorite Animal. Green Murano glass duck bowl with gold flecks is my favorite among the new beasts.
Moving on to another category...Boxes!
4. Blue Dresden Box.
(Paraphrasing Pete Seeger) Little boxes, on a desktop, little boxes made of porcelain. There's a pink one (lots of pink ones) and a green one and a yellow one. And they're all made out of porcelain, and Paul thinks they all look just the same.
Haven't heard the song in awhile? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La21jYGIQ8k
Though actually Malvina Reynolds, the original songwriter, sings it better.
Now, just one more box for you. The square box on the right is new. It's from India, and is made out of hundreds of cut-up pieces of bangle bracelets! A very intricately made, sturdy little jewelry box. $10 at Salvation Army...
5. The Best Vase
Too wonderful. Cobalt blue Venetian glass with Bacchus scenes hand painted all over it! And I'm pleased with its surreal setting, with Prince Albert and the naif Japanese cat.
6. An Interval for Cats
Paul Saves the Glassware
Paul narrowly saves a free-form Murano glass modern snake sculpture from almost certain destruction in the neverending war between the Great Enemies, Tully and Pindy.
People are always asking, "Don't the cats break things?" Amazingly, no. Pindy in particular loves to tiptoe across that tinkling sea of flowered china on my computer table, and she places her little paws just so, with extreme delicacy, sometimes inside a dish, sometimes between. Never breaks anything. However, when they do break something it's spectacular - like the time Pindy and Marshy flew over Paul's living room with one bound for leverage on the coffee table, and their dual bellyflop strike took out five prized Venetian glass goblets like so many bowling pins.
Let's get this out of the way. Here is my solution to keeping all the teacups off our tiny kitchen counter or higher in shelves than I can reach:
And here are some pretties.
The most golden one of all.
8. A little bouquet of Carnival glass
9. Starting to move on to the end quickly...Small French Limoges plates.
The pictures are Chamonix, Napoleon and Montreaux respectively.
And speaking of small collections, here are my Eggs:
10. To finish with a flourish - Paul's Peacock! Murano glass.
Oh, dear, Marshy (Martial the Epigrammatist Marsh-wiggle Marshmallow) is feeling left out. She is far more beautiful than a gaudy glass peacock, so I will close with a picture of her instead. As I said, her sin (if cats can sin, which I doubt) is not Materialism but, alas, Gluttony...
Here she is saying what she thinks of me going on about all these thrift shop baubles, instead of keeping to the proper topic, which is Cats.