bucolic English gardens and hippie reefer rests

Do you remember singing the song as a kid Going on a Bear Hunt? You’d rustle through the grass – making the appropriate noises with your hands. You’d stomp through the woods, stomping your feet to the beat.

The antique hunt is not much different. You firmly place the list of items you’re searching for in your mind, affixed securely. Your bag is empty, awaiting the found treasures. I suppose anything worth doing – bear gathering or dinnerware collecting – is worth sound effects and mental calisthenics.

Here are a few of the things I found on our recent antique shop hopping through northern California…

By far, this sugar bowl – even without it’s beautiful lid – was my favorite find. Well, let me be more accurate: It was Scott who found it. I suppose that is what made it all the more special. He called to me from a few aisles over, knowing I was focused on finding transferware.

I have heard it said that transferware is a staple of the south. I suppose that’s why it reminds me of my mother so much. We had lots of Johnson Bros dinnerware around our home growing up. Serene and usually pastoral scenes printed (transferred) onto ceramics – a practice dating back to 18th century England.

I reluctantly left my aisle (carefully eyeing each item along the way and noting where I was when I heard Scott say my name.) He lifted this lone sugar bowl and asked, ‘Do you like this one?’

Yes. Yes I do. It’s soft reddish pink hue was so lovely and elegant. I imagined it as a part of a grandly set table and wondered how much trouble the child got into when the sugar bowl lid was found broken in the back of their closet. -heehee If for no other reason, I wanted it to remember the pattern. This particular pattern will be on the top of my mental list while searching in the future.

This 1991 dated dish was special to me too since that’s the year my daughter, Hannah, was born. God Bless Our House Throughout 1991. And boy did he ever.

This cigarette holder took on a whole other twist, however. We aren’t smokers and I can’t imagine anyone ever coming over and actually smoking inside the house, but I really loved it’s faded red ship and sails. However, the checkout lady and Scott decided it would also make a nice joint holder – and there went my elegant thoughts of it, right out the window! – ha!!

I straight up bought this old book based on its title. I can’t think of a better way to go through life: laughing and living.

My favorite – and cheapest! – place to shop is my own house. I have tubs in the garage that I regularly go out and rifle through to find something old to make new again. These are all old items I’ve had for awhile – but mixed together in a different fashion makes them all new to me now. An old shoe form, a favored geometric ceramic holder and a faded old basket. Their differing heights and textures make for a nice little vignette, sitting atop a favorite chest-of-drawers.

What’s always on your list when antique shopping? I love to find milk glass and colored glass vases and linens…always linens. It’s been fun to have transferware as a 2019 buying goal. The hunt is 90% of the fun! (Especially when a best friend-husband is also involved.)

Happy weekend treasure hunting, friends! (no bears required)

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Barbara “Bobbie” Briegel says:

    Loved seeing your post regarding the Johnson Bros. Old Britain Castles transferware. I have my paternal grandmother’s 12 piece place settings with only a few pieces lost to breakage. It was purchased in the 1950s as nearly as I remember. I am lucky to even have the sugar bowl lid! I love setting out the table with the pieces and I always add the sugar bowl and creamer as they are my favorites. I so enjoy your posts, Greta, and reading about so many of your “favorites” as they are mine as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a treasure you have! I saw the sugar bowl lid online…it’s beautiful! Seems we never really grow out of the ‘playing tea’ stage, so we? ☺️ Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Bobbie. I love to hear what others resonate with.


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