Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Do You Collect Restaurant Ware?"

That was the question Angela asked last Tuesday on her tea blog. Do I collect restaurant ware? Not anymore. But I once did. Most of it went when we down-sized into retirement, but I did save a few favourite pieces. I had several little individual cream servers which I adored, but saved none of for some reason.
The above 7" oval platter reads "Albert Pick & Co. San Francisco-Chicago" on the bottom. Albert Pick & Co. was a hotel chain but they also provided restaurant wares to other businesses. The insignia on this plate looks like a Y over double B's with a crown on top. At the sides are two stylized black birds. What might have been served on this small platter?
On the left is a 2-1/2" mustard jar without a lid. It is labeled " D.E. McNicol, Vitrified China Clarksburg, W. Va." The larger lidded pot looks very similar with its green stripes. However, it is from Shenango China, New Castle, PA.

And it says, "Made for Regnier & Shoup Co., St. Joseph and Kansas City, MO. I'm not sure what this piece was designed to be used for. At first I thought the heads on the sides were women, but now I wonder if they are supposed to be Indians - an Indian being one of the identifying marks used by Shenango China Co.

The little cup on the right has been the hardest to identify. It is marked "O.P. Co., Syracuse China." Of all the Syracuse China patterns named online, I could not find this one. Also, this 2-1/2" 'cup' has an inside rim - as though it once had a lid. And the handle looks as though it might have been glued on. Could this have been a condiment pot originally which someone modified? Regardless, I like its dainty size and swirly green design.

This set was purchased at Antiques on Main in Corning. It is also O.P. Co. Syracuse China. O.P. stands for Onondaga Pottery which was the original company name before being bought by Syracuse China. Although my pieces look like a set, the covered bowl was made in July, 1951 and the plate in June of 1943. (A very good year.) The creamer and butter pat do not have date stamps. The pattern is the same as Syracuse's "Mystic Blue" which was discontinued in 1915, but the colors are different. Mystic Blue is dark blue with a gold rim while these dishes are a light blue with red rim.

Looking through 140 pages of Syracuse China on e-bay, I found a few more pieces in this pattern, but never a name for it nor any pieces like these. I'm wondering if my pieces were made for a hospital or hotel, maybe a railroad? It is the covered bowl which makes me wonder that.

When I first started looking on e-bay, it was so interesting to see all the different patterns Syracuse China made/makes. And finding the first piece like mine - a large platter - it was exciting. But after 140 pages, it is tiring.

I did learn about this cute little cup, though. There was one on the Syracuse China pages. It read, "Sarah Siddons Pump Room Syracuse China". It is exactly like mine but mine reads: "Duraline Super Vitrified, Grindley Hotelware Co., England." It was made in November of 1966.

Sarah Siddons was an early English actress (1755-1831) portrayed on this cup as she performed in Bath England. This design was exclusive to the Pump Room in Chicago's Ambassador Hotel in the mid-20th Century.

Butter pats were another part of my collection. This "W.H. Grindley England" is the only one I kept. I think it was made between 1914 and 1925. I have yet to page my way through all the Grindley china patterns to determine which this is.

Angela says "when you've got three of something, you're a collector", so I guess I'm still a collector, just not an active one. I think why I always liked the restaurant dishes was because of their heft. They seemed more usable than fine china - less likely to break. And they were less expensive to collect.

I always find it so interesting to research old pottery and china. One open door just leads to many more doors to be opened........


  1. Hello,

    I came across the photo of the Duraline tea cup when I was searching images for a match for mine. If you are interested, I'd like to send you mine so you'll have a pair (as I no longer need mine).


  2. I have a bowl with a single sided lip in this pattern. Let me know if your interested.