Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt features one woman serving coffee from a silver coffee pot, presumably part of a complete silver coffee and tea service. Could anything be more luxurious? It surely beats Mr. Coffee with its glass pot and plastic lid.
My great-aunt Violetta Davis Ryan always kept a hot pot of coffee. She could drink coffee many times a day. I reckon so, as weak as she made it. When my cousin Bobbie introduced her boyfriend (now husband) to our great-aunt, Violetta pointed to her coffee cup and asked, “Would you care for some?” Jimmy answered, “No thanks, I don’t drink hot tea.” Since then, we all refer to weak coffee as “Violetta coffee.”
Anyone who owned two silver coffee and tea services should have made better coffee, don’t you think? My sister has them now. Unlike Violetta, my sister Mary Jollette makes delicious coffee, but she’s never served it in silver. The one set that belonged to Violetta is called Remembrance by Rogers Brothers. The tray, however, is Victorian by Wilcox International.
This set includes the coffee pot, tea pot, creamer, sugar, and waste bowl. The waste bowl is where one empties cold tea or coffee before pouring another cup. "Waste bowl" -- wuddayaknow -- and all this time I thought it was a bowl for lemons or sugar cubes.
Her other set is just mix and match although the pieces look nice grouped together. The water pitcher is by William Rogers. The sugar and creamer are simply labeled “warranted triple plate,” which was a process of applying a thin layer of silver over a base metal. The tray is American Rose by Wilcox International.Isn't the design of the handles and sugar topper lovely?
My silver coffee and tea service belonged to our great-aunt on our father’s side, Helen Killeen Parker. I have written about this set previously, so if you want to read about it, click HERE. It is called Shell & Gadroon by Gorham. But alas, no waste bowl! Wherever shall I toss my cold coffee?
I have one other coffee and tea set, but it’s not silver. This set is Japanese blue lusterware which was among the wedding gifts of our great-aunt Velma Davis Woodring who married in 1927. It is pottery or porcelain with a metallic glaze that creates the iridescence. It is stunning in person, such a beautiful blue with cups lined in a goldy-peachy-orangey hue.
Lusterware was popular from the 1920s-40s. It went through a collecting craze in the 1980s but fell out of favor as soon as the Internet made people aware of how readily available it is.
|Do you see the Lusterware set on the front table?|
I’m ashamed that these beautiful coffee and tea sets are just sitting around collecting dust as decorations. They need to be put to their proper use, and I vow to do just that one of these days.
Take a coffee break and head on over to Sepia Saturday where you're sure to find many blogposts that are your cup of tea.
©2014, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.