Since I was a child, I have loved beautiful things. Sunsets, Lladros, sunrises, Waterford crystal, seashells, paintings by Monet, diamonds and pretty pebbles all give me pleasure and sometimes take my breathe away. Some I can only gaze at from afar. Some I seek out in museums. Some I can, and do, possess.
Two of my favorite possessions are a collection of pink depression ware glass and my grandmother’s good dishes. The dishes are strewn with tiny, pink roses.
Depression ware, manufactured in the 1930’s was used to lure people into movie theaters. Buy a ticket and you not only saw the movie, you received a free dish.
Depression ware is distinctive. The glass is translucent and made in many different colors. Pink has become a popular color to collect. A design pressed into the glass makes it decorative. Whole families would attend a movie in order to collect a set. Times were challenging. Different pieces of the set were given out on each day. People had to plan their evenings accordingly.
The dishes now sell individually as collector items. I use plates as serving platters for cookies or, as an extra little gift when I take someone a homemade cake. Friends understand that the plate does not need to be returned. A small bowl serves as a catch all for jewelry as I take it off in the evening. Yes, the bowl matches my pink bedroom.
My collection is not fancy, but I enjoy it. I buy pieces that catch my eye in antique shops or at garage sales. I do sometimes find things online and have rarely been disappointed. I looked for and finally found a set of glasses that compliment my grandma’s dishes. I have several very pretty, pink bowls that sometimes hold fruit or candy and sometimes sit on my coffee table looking decorative. Don’t ever make my mistake and use a bowl to hold a flowerpot. The scratches from the pot will spoil the beauty of the bowl.
My grandma’s rose strewn dishes are good china, but I will tell you the tale of their origin. Coffee and tea were once sold door to door. The Jewel Tea grocery chain began as such an enterprise. The salesmen gave coupons with each sale. The coupons were redeemable for dishes. The set of dishes left to me is a complete set for eight. I cannot imagine how many cups of coffee and tea were consumed to acquire them. I do know that using those dishes for a dinner party makes me feel special and connects me to my family history.