Chickens and Lefton China

Last weekend I headed out to an estate sale two towns over from me. I had to map it out so I had some idea of where I was going because it was out in the boondocks – down at least 3 or 4 back roads. These roads were not heavily traveled I realized as I had to stop for some beautiful chickens crossing the narrow, curvy road. I love chickens by the way; their colors and attitude plus their wide diversity in looks. I like to collect things with chickens and roosters. Here’s my egg basket that I love

Chicken Egg Basket

And here is a picture and a salt shaker I picked up at the thrift store (not Lefton, just loved! I’m getting to the Lefton!)

So I enjoyed watching the chickens cross the road, literally, and was back on my way to this estate sale. When I turned down the final street there were cars lined up and down the grass edge. When I went inside the house, however, the place was so big, I felt like there were only a few people in the house. It was the second day of the sale, so there were not a ton of things left, but I prefer the second day for the deals!

Lefton China Tidbit Tray (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

One of the deals I got was this tidbit tray above. I purchased it to put in the Vintage Eve’s shop as it is definitely vintage and I loved the colors. I like to sell stuff that I like myself. Sometimes it’s hard for me to part with them! The colors on this piece are really rich and I love the brass handle. This is what is known as a “tidbit” tray for serving those small items; you know cheese cubes, meat cubes, olives etc.

Lefton Violets Crescent Bone Plate (photo courtesy of Terri’s Just Vintage)

The company that put out the tidbit tray is Lefton China. As long as I’ve been collecting vintage, I’ve heard of and seen Lefton but had no idea where they started. I once had a great Miss Priss teapot in the shop by the same company. Mine sold but this is what it looked like below. There are other pieces in this line out there, too. It’s one of the lines that Lefton collectors look for.

Lefton Miss Priss Tea Pot

According to Collector’s Weekly, Lefton China was started in 1941 by a Hungarian sportswear designer named George Zoltan Lefton. He was an importer of items made in post-war Japan. Lefton is known for imported head vases, figurines, and kitchen wares.

Lefton Christmas Angels (photo courtesy of Delicia’s Castle)

All my research says that it is hard to date Lefton because they used their marks for long periods of time and the stickers overlapped timeframes. There are a few time signatures such as if the sticker says “Occupied Japan” you know it was made between 1945 and 1952 since that was the time Japan was required to use that distinction.

Vintage Lefton Wedding Angel (photo courtesy of NeverlandsNook)

Collector’s Weekly says that in the 1970s Lefton started importing from other places such as China, Malaysia, Italy and England. Luckily, Lefton was able to maintain the quality they were known for. So if the sticker is from one of these places, you know your piece was made after 1970.

Lefton’s Mr. Toodles Condiment Jar (photo courtesy of Cheeky Chimp Treasures)

Another hint is that between 1953 and 1960 you might find the words “Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.” on a sticker. After 1960 they changed that phrase to “Trade Mark.” But as these stickers overlapped in use, so it can still be difficult to date. To help you further date your item, the image below comes from the book “Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay” by Lois Lehner published in 1988 (the link will take you to Amazon – they have used copies by various sellers). I have my own copy of this book and find it quite helpful. I don’t find every manufacturer in it, but it is quite extensive.

From “Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay” by Lois Lehner

What I did find out from Kovels was that “George Lefton died in 1996 and the company was sold in 2002.”  Their most collectible pieces are their Miss Priss sets, angel figurines labeled with different months, and Christmas figurines.

Vintage Lefton Head Vase (photo courtesy of MNVintage)

I hope this post has helped you date some of your pieces and has broadened your knowledge of an important company from the mid-twentieth century. Let me know if you had a piece of Lefton that brings back memories! I love hearing from my readers and being able to share with you. Have a great week!

I’ll be partying this week at the link parties listed on the right!




Ohme – Oh My!

This past week I was cruising around one of my local thrift stores and was kind of disappointed. I found one item that I could use but absolutely nothing for my shop. I usually find at least something! But it was not to be. I paid the cashier at the desk and headed outside. As I exited, I happened to look to my left, and boy am I glad I did! There was a little canopy sitting over a table of bins. Well,  I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but I love bins. They are like a treasure hunt and I found treasure!

Ohme Old Ivory Saucers and Soup Plates (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

Look at what I found above. These are old hand-painted plates stamped on the back “Old Ivory Silesea.” They have a cool matte finish around the edge but the center is glossy. The painting is beautiful and they are in mint condition. It always surprises me that items over 100 years old, stuck in a bin, clanking around, can come out unscathed when my own dishes at home can’t seem to survive my own 2 teenage daughters! Our plates have enough chips in them, that if you found all the chips you could probably make a whole new set!

Ohme Silesea Porcelain Plate (photo courtesy of The Old Hound Antiques)

But I digress…I did really like these little plates. A quick search on my phone gave me an idea of what they were so I purchased them. Then when I went to list them in the shop, I finished my research. What I found is that these plates were produced by a manufacturer in Germany called Hermann Ohme. There is not a lot known about this company but I found some interesting facts to put together for this post.

Ohme Old Ivory Antique Porcelain Toothpick Holder (photo courtesy of Barb’s Vintage Finds)

There is a website called the “Society for Old Ivory and Ohme Porcelains” that I used for some of this information. Apparently, the Ohme company was in business from 1882 to 1930. Not a long run comparatively in the porcelain/china business when you look at Spode or Watt.

Ohme Old Ivory Silesea Lidded Sugar and Creamer Set (photo courtesy of Fabulous Flawed Finds)

SOIOP’s information says that Ohme was located in “Niedersalzbrunn, Silesia, Germany (now the town of Walbrzych in Western Poland).” But a different source states they were actually located in Nieder-Salzbruss (today Sczawienko) ( and that the Niedersalzbrunn plant was a decorating plant.

Hermann Ohme Decorative Dish (photo courtesy of On Point Collectibles)

They only produced 2 types of porcelain glazes, Old Ivory being one and the other being a clear glaze. The Old Ivory glaze was an extra glaze that gave the piece a distinctive matte look and feel like the dishes I found.

Ohme Porcelain Biscuit Jar Worcester Mold (photo courtesy of Christie’s Curios)

The clear glaze pieces were purchased by other manufacturers all over the world to decorate in their own style. Ohme produced full dinner sets with accessories in both glazes but the clear glazed ones that other companies could buy, were known as blanks. They actually had at least 50 blanks in different shapes and sizes that the company produced.

Ohme Cup and Saucer circa 1920 (photo courtesy of Blanc Bonheur)

The Old Ivory pieces were originally marketed to retail outfits and billed as “affordable china and elegant dinnerware” (SOIOP). Eventually they were used as free promotional gifts.

Ohme Serving Bowls circa 1910 (photo courtesy of The China Girl)

Kovels has much of the same information but they add that the mark you will find on these pieces is “a crown, the cipher OH, and the word Silesia.” Like this image below.

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Ohme Porcelain Mark – Glaze Type and Style Number

The pattern number is usually on there, too. There were some blanks in the Old Ivory glaze that were unmarked as such and were manufactured for the British Market.

Ohme Creamer with Blue Poppies (photo courtesy of Lindsay Jane’s Cottage)

So why the short run for this company? According to the Porcelain Marks and More website, the company was owned in 1913 by 3 people, Hermann Ohme, Hermann Ohme, Jr. and E.M. Bauer. They decided that year to increase production for the export market.

Ohme Cup and Saucer Iridescent Porcelain (photo courtesy of Junk Savant)

They really pushed those exports missing the beginning signs that pointed to the financial crises that was to come. When the bottom dropped out of the export business shortly after the collapse of the stock market in October of 1929 beginning a world wide economic collapse, they were forced to file for bankruptcy in 1930.

Ohme Carmen Pattern Serving Bowl (photo courtesy of Bedford Hill Vintage)

So, while theirs was a short run in the biz, they actually produced some quality stuff that has stood the test of time! I hope you enjoyed this little peek at Ohme Porcelain and seeing some examples of their wonderful pieces. You can click on any of the examples to go to the shop listing to learn more about that specific piece. Also, visit the Porcelain Marks and More website for examples of the marks to look for which can date your pieces.

Have a great week and party with me at the great link ups listed on the right!


From Here to There – Transferware

I was cruising around one of the local thrift stores I like to poke around in on Wednesday this past week. I tend to linger because as I’m shopping, they keep putting stuff out. So it’s hard to leave because I think I’m going to miss something! I think that is their diabolical plan and it’s totally working.

Transferware Creamer Royal China Colonial Homestead (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

Well, I was about done after I thought I had seen everything when I spotted the cute creamer above. It was nasty with dirt and grease but in great shape otherwise. It reminded me of my Noni’s house so I couldn’t resist. I brought it home, cleaned it up and put it in the shop.  It’s a piece of ceramic ware called transferware.

Transferware Compotier (photo courtesy of My Vintage Provence)

If you’re not familiar with transferware it’s created by transferring a print from an inked, engraved plate to a sheet of paper which is then applied to the unfired clay. Some sources state the paper is tissue paper. The clay or china, or whatever you are working with, absorbs the ink and after the paper is removed, the piece is then glazed and fired (Collector’s Weekly). Viola, transferware!

Charlottesville Hardware Company Purple Transferware Plate (photo courtesy of Sue’s Antique Wonderland)

It’s an interesting process that started around 1760. I would have thought that that was sort of advanced for the 1700s but they were really doing some innovative things at that time. It began in Staffordshire, England, which, according to Collector’s Weekly has been a center for fine ceramics for a long time.

Brown Tinturn Transferware Pitcher by Alfred Meakin (photo courtesy of Intrinsic Vintage)

Transferware allowed the ceramic houses to produce pieces faster than hand painting everything. Wedgwood and Spode were already doing that and doing it well.

French Ironstone Transferware Plates (photo courtesy of Themison)

Italian scenes and blue-and-white were very popular. Patterns such as Willow became iconic in reference to the art. Collector’s Weekly says that a company called Ridgeway produced a series known as “Old Blue” but was actually called “Beauties of America” in a bid to catch the American market. They depicted important U.S. buildings at the time.

Blue Transferware Old North Church (photo courtesy of Cottage Garden Vintage)

There was a particular glaze technique that sprung up around 1830 called “flown.” It was created by adding lime or ammonia to the kiln during firing the blue-and-white pieces and this made the glaze run or flow. Hence the name “flown.” You can check Collector’s Weekly for some manufacturers of this type of glaze.

Flow Blue T Walker Cup and Saucer (photo courtesy of Sexy Southern Yankee)

Many collectors today tend to collect based on certain attributes of the transfer such as flowers or a particular border. And of course many people collect based on what it is. Some people are into collecting kitchen stuff (ahem, I might know someone who collects these) or some people are into teapots or jugs. Whatever type of transferware you collect, there’s excellent examples out there.

Transferware Chamber Pot (photo courtesy of Surrender Dorothy)

I also happened to find this blog,  Nancy’s Daily Dish, that shows the steps of creating transferware in great detail . Check it out, it’s really cool!

Do you collect any transferware or remember it from a parent or grandparent’s house? I’d lover to hear about it. Have a great week!

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Jumpin’ Josef

In my last post I told you all that I had found a “Josef Originals” ceramic girl at one of my favorite haunts. I am not really into many figurines as they are just one more thing to dust (not my favorite past-time!), but I happen to love these little figurines named after the months. They have different series, there was an angel series and they have this series, birthstones, as well as a career series, and more.

August Birthstone Girl by Josef Originals (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

The one above is for the month of August. She still has her original sticker and her peridot, the birthstone for August. I think she’s just adorable. I wanted to see if I could find out more about this company and I was surprised by what I found! Let me know if you knew any of this history, because I didn’t!

Josef Originals 5th Birthday Blue Angel (photo courtesy of That Vintage Girl 95)

According to Collectors Weekly, the designer of these adorable ceramic figurines was an artist from California named Muriel Joseph. She originally worked making Lucite costume jewelry. But when the war started, Lucite was needed for the windshields on airplanes.

Josef Originals Lady in Pink (photo courtesy of RMP Enterprises 802)

As a result, Muriel needed a new medium to work with. She turned to making ceramic jewelry.  Collectors Weekly states that it dawned on her a couple of years into the ceramic jewelry making business that she could make ceramic figurines.

Josef Originals Towel Holder (photo courtesy of Do You Remember When)

Her fiancée, Tom George had just returned from the war and he couldn’t find work, like many men who returned after WWII. After they married, they both focused on her business! It was not typical for women to run businesses back then. I think it’s awesome that they both threw themselves into her business!

Josef Originals Careers (photo courtesy of Snick Knacks)

In 1946 their business launched. It launched as Josef Originals due to a printing error of Muriel’s maiden name, Joseph. They made animals, angels, and children early on. The company was a cottage industry, based in their home in California, and they valued quality over quantity.

Town and Country Series by Josef Originals (photo courtesy of Squirrel Trove)

So why do so many bear the “made in Japan” or “Japan” sticker? This I find interesting in its daring. As Collectors Weekly tells it, fakes started showing up from Japan in the mid-1950s. If you’ve read my posts over these last 8 months, you know that this was usually the death-knell for many pottery companies. There was no way to compete with these cheap imported knock-offs.

Girl with Dog by Josef Originals (photo courtesy of Vintage By Tiffinie)

Well, a businessman named George Good convinced them to manufacture their figurines in Japan themselves. So in 1959, they went to Katayama, Japan, opened a factory and “personally train the workers there to ensure that the quality of Josef Originals remained high” (Collectors Weekly). As much as I like to see the “made in U.S.A.” label, I think it showed some ingenuity on their part to take the bull by the horns and stay in business.

June Birthstone by Josef Originals (photo courtesy of JC Novelty)

It’s hard enough for a large company to stay in business, let alone a cottage industry like Josef Originals was. This was their livelihood! And the bid worked. The quality remained and the company made it through the 1960’s and 1970’s with Muriel’s husband George retiring in 1981.

Sweden Girl by Josef Originals (photo courtesy of Hunter’s Great Finds)

So what does that mean for your collectibles? It means that if you have a Josef Originals made in Japan it could be a knockoff so check the quality. The George’s maintained excellent quality. See if you can find an additional sticker that will identify the piece. The painting of the faces was delicate and well-executed. A high gloss finish is important to look for, as well.

Scottish Girl by Josef Originals (photo courtesy of Vintage Quality Finds)

Another informative blog on this matter, Vintage Virtue, goes further to explain what to look for. Black eyes; all the original Josef Originals were painted with black eyes. Apparently, the birthday dolls, birthstone dolls and some special occasion dolls are being manufactured still by Dakin, although these are made in Hong Kong. The eyes on the newer pieces are reddish brown. Below are two pictures from Kizzy’s Korner shop showing a lipstick holder and what the incised name on the bottom should look like. If there is no incised name, there should be a backstamp.


Backstamp for Josef Originals (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

So were you surprised to find out who was behind Josef Originals? I was. I didn’t realize it was a woman and I didn’t think they had originally started in the States. Like I said, interesting!

Have a great week! Leave me a comment if you get a chance. I always love hearing from all of you. Share with me your favorite collectible!

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Let’s Go Picking Together!

While my blog is meant to be more informative in nature about the vintage treasures that I find and sell, I wanted to do an extra post that has more to do with my life of looking for these vintage treasures. Don’t worry, I will still be doing my informational stuff! But you know bloggers, we like to write and I wanted to share some fun stuff with you from my life! Let me know if you like some of these extra posts! I love to hear from you!

Hi! Ignore the flyaway hair – the air conditioner was going full blast!

Above is a picture of me. I’m in the car getting ready to take off this morning because I have been looking for some new places to pick through. I have my local haunts but I like to branch out once in awhile when I have time. So I traveled a few towns over to a new-to-me thrift store in Kingston, NH. Apparently they have been there for awhile, but an antique store used to be in that spot, which is what I remember. The antique store moved out and this great volunteer group took over and opened the space as a thrift store. I didn’t find anything for the Vintage Eve’s store, but I did find some lovely red flats!

Darling! Right?!

Shhhh, we won’t mention how many pairs of shoes I actually own right now — but $2 for leather flats, how can you say no?

Anyway, since I was close to Plaistow at this point, I decided to visit one of my favorite Vintage stores, “A Well-Kept Secret.”

A view down the aisle at “A Well-Kept Secret” Plaistow, NH

This is a picture from inside on the first floor. The lower level is crafts and the upper floor is vintage heaven.

A favorite booth at “A Well-Kept Secret” in Plaistow, NH

I found this little “Josef Originals” August lady that will go in my shop, for a great price. I love these little figurines! They had one for each month. Isn’t she pretty?! And she still has her peridot gem and original tag.

A Josef Original with original tag from the 1950’s 

That was all I happened to find in that store today. So, since I still had a little time before I needed to go to a meeting for a committee I’m on, I stopped at my favorite local thrift store. They had gotten some stuff in from an estate sale that was still in totes. Here’s the tote I was after.

There’s treasure in there somewhere!

What I dug out of it were 2 old Ball Ideal jars! Below is one of them. They date from 1933 to 1962 based on the logo — and in pristine condition I might add.

One of the jars

Then, in the back, back room, under a book, inside a basket I found these mid-century modern fondue forks by Inox and this Mouli grater from the 1940s. In fact, the gentleman at the checkout said his mom had a grater just like it when he was growing up and he was older than me, so it was definitely vintage!!


Finally, tucked in a corner, I found this old tool from the 1950s. I found it in a narrow hallway tucked behind some stuff.

An old corner tool from the 50’s

As a picker, you really have to be willing to dig through totes and boxes, look under and behind what you see to find the really great treasures. Sometimes, but rarely, are those treasures sitting nicely on a shelf. And sometimes, they are covered with so much grime that the person selling it doesn’t even realize what they have! I had this Pyrex, pictured below, in my shop for less than an hour.

Black Snowflake Pyrex

When I found this piece, it was covered with grease and dirt. But it cleaned up nice and sold that fast (I just snapped my fingers). The rest of the treasures above will all be in the Vintage Eve’s shop soon.

Well, that was my day of what I call picking! Thanks for coming along with me. Where do you find your best treasures? What was your favorite one? I’d love to hear from you!

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