Super Sascha

I really love finding stuff I’ve never heard of before. Some of the pieces on this blog have caused me to really look deeper into the origins of pieces, which is what I also love. So recently, I came across these pieces. Other than just being an absolutely beautiful design, they were by a designer I was not familiar with, Sascha Brastoff.

Sascha Brastoff Saucer
Surf Ballet

These saucers are a pinky-purple mixed with gold on an eggshell color base. The pattern name is Surf Ballet, which, let’s face it, is an awesome name. And it also looks like the foam from the ocean as it’s churned with a gorgeous sunset. That’s why I grabbed them for the store. They were too pretty to leave them languishing in a cupboard.

Sascha Brastoff Horse Bowl (available at Buddhagal)

So who is Sascha Brastoff? It turns out he was a very popular designer of Mid-Century Modern ceramics and was very prolific during the 1950s and 1960s. He was born in 1918 in Cleveland, Ohio. He entered WWII going into the Air Force. When he got out, he actually worked for a while at Twentieth Century-Fox as a costume designer. 

Sascha Brastoff Cigarette Set (available at hyggeligtgenbrug)

In “Made in the Twentieth Century: A Guide to Contemporary Collectibles” by Larry R. Paul, Sascha opened Sascha Brastoff Products, Inc. Then opening a ceramics plant in West Los Angeles in 1953, introducing his Rooster trademark that same year.

Sascha Brastoff Rooster Mark

One of my favorite resources on American pottery, “Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay,” by Lois Lehner, says this plant covered a full block and operated from 1953 to 1973. Sascha himself did all of the designs and then let his staff of about 20 people execute them under his supervision. A brochure that went out with some of his designs stated, “In his southern California studios, Brastoff has labored toward a double objective – the bringing of fine art into everyday living.” (Lehner, p. 55).

Sascha Brastoff Water Jug (available at Unique Decor HM)

That epitomizes what he was trying to do. Don’t forget that coming out of the war, after all the rationing and foreign imports of ceramic wares were being cut off, there was a big demand for ceramic wares that were beautiful and functional. Add in the post-war building boom, and you can see the proliferation of American pottery that looked toward the modernist future but was also functional in order to furnish those new homes. Brastoff was able to fulfill that role.

Sascha Brastoff Black Bowl (available at Hearthside Home)

His pieces cost from $25.00 and into the thousands for pieces that he himself produced. As far as the marks are concerned, his rooster mark with “Sascha Brastoff” underneath has been used since around 1953. That mark can be a gold sticker or backstamp. Another backstamp, “Sascha B.” which means he supervised the making of the piece. If he signed his full name in script “Sascha Brastoff,” it meant he did the piece himself from beginning to end.

Sascha Brastoff Bowl (available at Mad4Mod Vintage)

There are also both of those “Sascha B.” and “Sascha Brastoff” in block letters as a backstamp. Both of those were stated to be in use since 1952 but specifically on a line of pottery designed by Sascha for B. Altman Company (Lehner, p. 17). According to Venice Clay Artists, Stangl and Royal Haeger were also licensed to use his designs. There’s usually a thick, “SB” on the piece designating the designer as Sascha Brastoff.

Sascha Brastoff Salt and Pepper (available at Bayshore Attic)

Unfortunately, Sascha left his plant due to ill health in the 1960s. The plant closed in 1973 and he passed away in 1993, at the age of 75. He definitely left his mark on Mid-Century Modern pottery and his pieces were as highly prized then as they are today. If you think about a $25.00 piece in 1960, it would be like spending over $200 for a piece of pottery today when the average yearly family income was only $5600. I always find these figures remarkable. So that is the story of Sascha Brastoff and his gorgeous designs.

Sascha Brastoff Hooded Ashtray (available at That70sShoppe)


I hope your upcoming week holds lots of good things! I’m in the Northeast enjoying a well-deserved Spring and excitedly watching the early flowers bloom. Thanks for reading!


What’s Cooking?

One of the things I love to find while I’m out and about are vintage cookbooks for a couple of reasons. One being that they sell well in my Etsy shop, the other is that I love thumbing through these vintage books looking at pictures from my childhood and before. Take a look at this one I found recently which I adore.

Famous Eating Places
Those graphics!!!!

It’s actually a cross-collectible for those that collect automobile memorabilia since it was put out by the Ford and Lincoln-Mercury Dealerships back in 1954. I love that there are 4 recipes from my state and many more from all over the United States. One of the restaurants is still standing in Portsmouth, NH, but is not a restaurant anymore, it’s a business. Time marches on.

Here is another one that I really like.

Betty Crocker helps you with all your hostess needs!

These Betty Crocker books have great pictures and recipes. Look at that spread!


Here is another from Betty.

Not sure what that white ring is but I’m all in for that fondue!!

I especially like cookbooks from the 1950s and 1960s. And if you’ve read my many blog entries, you know I love Mid-Century stuff. And that includes cookbooks.

Although, here’s an oldy. A reproduction from the early Williamsburg days.

Close up!

Obviously, people have been writing down recipes for a long time. Did you know that the oldest recipes ever found were written on clay tablets? Called the Yale Culinary Tablets, they date back to 1700 B.C. They only list the ingredients though and not the directions (Yale Tablets). It was sort of a crap shoot I guess if you got it right. Click the link for more info.

Here’s one that is relevant for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday!

Who knew the cranberry was so versatile!
Free Recipes!

Does anyone remember the Galloping Gourmet? I remember my dad watching this show on Saturday afternoons.

There he is! Not my dad, the Galloping Gourmet!

There are so many different kinds of cookbooks. One that recently sold in the shop was from the 1960s that was a compilation of Boston Globe recipes. I almost didn’t let that one go. One that I am keeping for now because I need more time to explore it is this one.


Anyone need a recipe for a Teen-Age Square Dance?! Here’s one!

I like the way it reads like a story and I want to try some of the recipes. This one is interesting in that it was written in 1959 and it has a section on cooking for food allergies and another section warning about fad diets. I didn’t think they knew about those issues back then! So I’ll hang on to this one.

Well, I thank you for taking the time to enjoy these great vintage cookbooks with me. Most of them (not all) are available in the Vintage Eve’s shop on Etsy. As always, have a wonderful day and maybe try a new (old) recipe!! If you do, drop me a line and let me know what you made. Always looking for something different to answer that age-old question … what’s for dinner?! My kids don’t even have to wait til I get home to ask anymore, they text me that question now. Time does indeed march on but the question remains the same. Have a great week!


Get the Brush!

A few months back, I did a post on McCoy Pottery which talked about the Nelson McCoy connection. That post touched briefly on George Brush who had gone into business with Nelson McCoy, forming Brush-McCoy. This union only lasted until 1918 when they went their separate ways and Brush Pottery became its own business. The Brush-McCoy mark stopped being used in 1925.

Brush Pottery Planter in Brown Drip (available at Vintage Eve’s)

According to Lehner’s Encyclopedia, there are 2 different Brush Potteries. The first one was only in business for a year (1907 to 1908) when the pottery burned down. In that year they produced kitchen ware and sanitary ware. One item of note was the Lucille Toilet Ware line.  After the fire destroyed the 1-kiln plant, George Brush, the owner, went to McCoy Pottery. The original Brush pottery used the old Union Pottery molds so I’m not sure how to identify those pieces. If anyone knows, let me know!

Lucille Toilet Ware (credit BWPOSECC Stoneware)

On to the second Brush Pottery.  Once Brush and McCoy went their separate ways with McCoy selling their interest in Brush-McCoy, Brush started turning out many well vitrified products. Lehner’s Encyclopedia lists those items as kitchen ware, vases, cookie jars, patio ware, garden ware and more. Their cookie jars are very collectible and they had quite a few designs.

Happy Bunny – Chef Bunny Brush Pottery Cookie Jar (available at Just About Modern)

During the 1920s through the 1940s, they updated their equipment, getting a new tunnel kiln which improved their production. They introduced their Colonial Mat and Art Vellum lines; going towards softer and semi-matte finishes. According to the American Association of Art Pottery some of their brightly colored glazes sold really well, too, in the 1930s. They had a faux Rockingham Nurock glaze that was popular during this time.

Brush Pottery Art Vellum Glazed Vase circa 1930s (available at Delovelyness)

Brush Pottery is remembered for a few key pieces, mainly frogs of every shape and attitude, as well as cookie jars. And to combine those two, a frog cookie jar called “Hill Billy Frog” which is rare and can sell upwards of $4,000! Their main business turned more towards the floral and novelty. Just like the planter at the top from the Vintage Eve’s shop and this one here.

Brush Pottery Planter (available at Junctique)


Here is the “Hill Billy Frog” cookie jar. The link will take you to a website to help you know the difference between the original and the repro.

Brush Pottery Hill Billy Frog Cookie Jar Real and Repro

You will still see a lot of items listed as “Brush McCoy” when you shop even if they are just marked “Brush.” Anything produced after 1925 is either a McCoy or a Brush, not the combined name. Also, the Brush name was always impressed into the clay. The new repros out there have “Brush McCoy” in raised letters. In December 1978, Brush Pottery was sold to C.S.C. Inc. of Chicago, then in 1979 to Virgil Cole and John O. Everhart. They closed for good in 1982.

Brush Pottery Frog (available at NLDVintage)

They were around from the 1920s through to the 1980s. I can’t find the information as to what finally shut them down. They may have gone the same way many of the others did, with cheap imports taking over the market or it could have been lack of interest of the new owners. Hard to say. But it closed down in 1982 and burned down sometime around the turn of this century.

Again, I find it interesting to untangle the threads of all these companies, to follow one to its roots. I hope you have enjoyed this post and will join me at the link parties on the right. Have a great week!



Raise the Anchor

I have been away for a bit from the blog due to a very hectic schedule over the last few months! In my other life, I am a Special Ed Teacher and as such, the last few months before school ends are rounds of grading papers, meetings, testing and taking advantage of the good weather if at all possible! But here we are, together again, and I’d like to touch on a company that we have probably all invited into our houses at one point or another.

Anchor Hocking. This company has been around more than a century in many different forms. We’ve all seen their stuff. I have a couple of their pieces in the shop currently. Like these ones.

Anchor Hocking Relish Dish (available at Vintage Eve’s)
Anchor Hocking Moonstone Hobnail Divided Dish (available at Vintage Eve’s)

They originally started as the Hocking Company back in 1905 near the Hocking River — hence the name. At the time, according to the Anchor Hocking Museum website (AH), Isaac J. Collins and 6 of his friends had raised about $8,000 to buy Lancaster Carbon Company when they went into receivership. Even back then, though, $8k was not enough and they needed to bring on one more investor by the name of Mr. E.B. Good. He gave them another $17,000 which sealed the deal and Mr. Collins had himself a glass factory.

Hocking Glass Co. Elegant Glass Pink Mayfair (available at I Do Pink)

During their first year in business, with 50 employees, Hocking Glass Company sold about $20,000 worth of glassware. Not too shabby! As they expanded they began to sell some stock in the company.

Ruby Red Berry Bowl Coronation Banded (available at Vintage Creative Accen)

They were going along pretty good until there was a huge fire which destroyed their main facility. How many times have we seen this played out with some of these early 20th century companies?! They worked it out, though because out of those ashes rose a new facility called Plant 1 — specifically designed to produce glassware. The one that burned down had originally been a carbon company when they bought the facility.

Hocking Glass Co. Yellow Cameo Open Sugar (available at Places to Put Things)

Hocking Glass began buying up some other companies such as the Lancaster Glass Company (Plant 2) and the Standard Glass Manufacturing Company. This was all during the 1920s. Just before the Great Depression hit, they developed a revolutionary machine that pressed glass automatically. It allowed them to make over 30 items per minute, whereas before they could only make 1 per minute.

Anchor Hocking Fire King Bowls with Handles (Treasure Evermore)

Once that was perfected, they then created a machine with 15 molds that could turn out 90 pieces of glass per minute! That allowed them to lower their costs considerably. During the Depression they were able to sell tumblers “two for a nickel” and still stay in business.

Anchor Hocking Berwick Boopie Sherbert circa 1950 (available at Red River Antiques)

In 1931 they purchased a 50% share of the General Glass Company which was in the process of acquiring Turner Glass Company of Winchester, Indiana. The information on the Anchor Hocking Museum website (AH) says that this merger is what ended up creating the Anchor Hocking name. What happened was that Hocking Glass and the companies it was now merged with developed the first one-way beer bottle. Before that, beer was sold in refillable bottles.

Anchor Hocking Maxwell House Pressed Glass Jar (available at The Jelly Jar)

On December 31, 1937, Anchor Cap and Closure and all its subsidiaries merged with Hocking Glass. They had closure plants all over the Eastern seaboard and in Canada. They also had glass container plants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This led the now Anchor-Hocking Glass Company into glassware, containers and then into tableware, toiletries, cosmetic containers, and more.

Anchor Hocking Milk Glass Mugs (available at The Discerning Hoarder)

They continued to expand through the next decades. In 1969 they dropped the “Glass” part of their name because they were so far beyond just producing glass. Actually during the prior year, 1968, they had entered the plastics market after their acquisition of Plastics Incorporated.

Plastic Anchor Hocking Cups for the 1984 Olympics (available at Luxurys Warehouse)

In 1970 they purchased Phoenix Glass Company in Pennsylvania and entered the lighting field. They also bought Taylor, Smith & Taylor putting them squarely into the earthenware, fine stoneware, and institutional china dinnerware business.

Anchor Hocking Hobnail Perfume Bottle (available at MidCenturyMad Shop)

Over the years they have bought and sold different divisions. You can go to the Anchor Hocking Museum website (AH) for a very detailed listing of all the subsidiaries and divisions that have been acquired, merged, or sold. The list gets complicated. In 2006 Anchor-Hocking filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to heavier than expected losses. They were bought by Oneida which in turn was acquired by EverywhereWare, Inc. So they are still in business under the Anchor-Hocking name.

Mid-Century Ice Bucket Anchor Hocking (available at Gentry Antiques)

They apparently only used 3 marks during their production years. There is a mark that has an “HG” over “Co.” which was used from 1905 to 1937. The anchor with an H in the middle used from 1937 to 1968. Finally, the anchor inside a square used from 1968 until now.

Anchor Hocking Ruby Glass Pitcher (available at Heather’s Collectibles)

It is amazing how intertwined so many of these companies became. It is like trying to unravel a knotted ball of yarn; they start out simple and then it’s almost impossible to separate one from the other. It’s all interesting though!

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s post. Please join me at the link parties on the right — lots of wonderful blogs — and have a great week!!




Hall of Fame

Hall China Company. I see so many pieces with the Hall or Hall’s mark and for good reason; they have been in business since August 14, 1903! And they are still in business! There are so few companies that have lasted that long that they deserve a little fame.

Hall’s Superior Quality Bowl (available at Vintage Eve’s)

Hall China Company is one of those companies that came out of Ohio. They were started at East Fourth and Walnut Streets in East Liverpool, Ohio. According to one of my favorite sources, “Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay” by Lois Lehner, the company was founded by Robert Hall and his son, Robert T. Hall. Unfortunately, the elder Hall died in 1904!

Hall’s Superior Quality Decorated Teapot circa 1940s (available at Buy The Lake Vintage)

Originally the company made whiteware from 1905 to 1911. This helped get the company off the ground. Robert T. Hall wanted more for the company, though. He had an idea that proved to be the product that made the company stand out above the rest. He developed a new glaze that was “single fire, non-lead, hard, non-porous and craze proof” (Lehner, 1988, p. 187). They called this their “Secret Process.”

Hall China Co. Hotpoint Refrigerator Pitcher circa 1930s (available at Lovettsville)

From this point in 1914, they began to grow and expand quite a lot. They got into cookware such as casseroles, teapots and coffee urn liners (for industrial uses). In 1919 they bought the Goodwin Pottery Plant to make decorated teapots. They were soon the leader in teapots. In 1920 Robert T. Hall passed away and Malcolm W. Thompson took over.

Hall Super-Ceram Graduated Set (available at Abundancy)
Hall Super-Ceram Mark (available at Abundancy)

They continued to grow acquiring other plants until in 1930 they abandoned all the other buildings and moved into a large facility which they added to 8 times over the years. It is the facility they still use and encompasses 12 acres!

Hall’s China Co. Covered Casserole (available at Ric’s Relics)

As time marched on, their lines grew. There is Hall Fireproof China which covers casseroles and other baking dishes, teapots, coffee pots, serving dishes and storage dishes. Many of these pieces have been produced for the industrial/restaurant sectors. Hall’s Superior Quality, like the piece at the top of this post, was available through stamp stores and large merchandising centers.

Hall’s Flare-Ware Teapot (available at Lilly’s Vintage Cupboard)
Hall China Flare Ware Mark (available at Lilly’s Vintage Cupboard)

Super-Ceram is their’s, too. It’s a tough, white ceramic. There are over 100 marks associated with Hall China Co. They help to identify them as made for the railroads, airlines, restaurants and stores like Montgomery Wards, Sears and Roebuck and the Jewell Tea Company. At one point they even had a partnership with Longaberger Baskets. They are now joined with Homer Laughlin China under the HLC Inc. umbrella.

Hall Covered Refrigerator Dish for Montgomery Ward (available at Classy Vintage Glass)
Hall China Co. Mark for Montgomery Ward & Co. (available at Classy Vintage Glass)

As you can see, Hall China Co. knew how to stay in business. They diversified and managed to make a good product which they moved through many different venues. If you can get your hands on Lehner’s book, she has an extensive number of marks for identifying years of manufacture. I don’t receive any monetary compensation for recommending her book, it’s just a great resource.

If you have any stories of a favorite Hall China piece, leave me a comment. I love hearing from everyone! Please join me at the link parties on the right and have a great week!




A Word About Avon

If you’ve lived in the last century, you’ve probably used or collected something from Avon. I remember years ago when my mom sold it in the 1970s. She doesn’t sell it anymore, but it helped her get out as a young mother and meet other women while making some money. In my shop, I have this Avon pheasant below.

Avon Pheasant originally for Leather Aftershave (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

I seem to remember one just like this sitting on my dad’s dresser when I was growing up. Avon’s history is an interesting one. The Avon digital history archive is housed at the Hagley Library in Greenville, Delaware USA. According to the website, Avon is one of the earliest direct selling companies in America.

Avon Sachet Jars from the 1960s (photo courtesy of Square Granny Vintage)

What their archives say is that it began in 1886. I don’t know about you, but I always thought it was started by a woman. I think I got that from the makeup and skincare all being geared toward women. But it was started by a man named David H. McConnell.

Avon Face Powder Tin from the 1930s (photo courtesy of Ginger’s Little Gems)

AvonCompany website says that McConnell was a partner in a book company, the Union Publishing Company, and he would sell perfumes with the books he sold. He realized after awhile that the women he sold to were way more interested in his perfume samples than his books. The samples were his own concoction that he started giving away to get his foot in the door.

Cord 37 Aftershave Car (photo courtesy of ShopRCS)

The other thing he realized was that women were struggling to survive in an economy that did not allow them to work at anything more than domestic or manufacturing work. But he took a bet that many of them could sell.

Avon Snoopy Soap Dish 1960s (photo courtesy of Old Like Us)

In the beginning, the company was called the California Perfume Company. His first recruit was a woman from my home state of New Hampshire! Mrs. P.F.E. Albee had sold books for him while he was with Union Publishing so he knew she could sell. She helped him realize that the women didn’t have to travel to sell, either. They could sell to their own communities. The AvonCompany website goes on to say that McConnell also worked hard to give the company a family feel which in turn caused the ranks of representatives to grow to 5,000 in just 13 years.

Avon Ruby Goblets (photo courtesy of Suzi’s Lost and Found)

Apparently, he was a good employer, too! He motivated his troops by providing a way for women to achieve financial independence in the way he structured the company. He had employee incentives and gave back to the communities Avon served. Their products were high quality and had a guarantee of satisfaction. They began their 3-week “campaigns” in 1932.

Avon Collectible Bottle Collection (photo courtesy of the Retro Professor)

The Avon name came from Shakespeare’s home at Stratford-On-Avon. McConnell had visited and he noted how alike it was to his own home in New York. He created an Avon line within the California Perfume Company which consisted of a “toothbrush, cleanser, and vanity set” ( When David McConnell, Jr. graduated from Princeton, he took over as Vice President of the company. His father died in 1937 and 2 years later, David, Jr. officially changed the name of the company to Avon. They are now a billion dollar company.

Avon Kid’s Sachets (photo courtesy of Raiders of the Lost Loot)

It’s had it’s ups and downs, but it is still around and in nearly 143 countries having broken into the European market in 1957 in the United Kingdom. Through the Depression of the 1930s, Recession in the 70’s, and other changes, Avon has continued to offer women the opportunity to become entrepreneurs.

Avon Mouse Pin (I had one of these!) (photo courtesy of Vintagestarrbeads)

I hope you learned a bit about an old American company that seems to have touched so many lives. I know I did. Do you have any memories of Avon? Let me know, I love hearing from all of you! I’ll be partying at the link parties on the right this week. Have a great week!


Is There an Ekco in Here?

Is there an Ekco in your kitchen? I know there is in mine! This classic company has made so many different kitchen and household gadgets, I’m sure I haven’t seen them all. They are actually a cool company. Here’s one Ekco gadget that I use all the time!

Ekco Miracle Tomato Slicer


The one above is one that is for sale in my shop but I have one of my own that is my go-to-gadget for slicing tomatoes. Such a simple thing, but it works much better than me trying to slice the tomatoes evenly by hand and it works in seconds. Perfect tomatoes for sandwiches and burgers.

Ekco Vintage Muffin Tin (photo courtesy of Band Box Vintage Wares)

So what’s the story on Ekco? Well, the name has the initials for the founder, Edward Katzinger and it’s his Company. According to an awesome book I’ve referenced before “Spiffy Kitchen Collectibles” by Brian Alexander, Edward Katzinger was a tinsmith by trade. He immigrated here in the 1880s and settled in Chicago.

Ekco Hand Mixer and 3-Prong Fork (photo courtesy of Swankie Stuff)

He decided to set up a shop making tin pans for the baking industry. That is what he focused on and he did it well. His company flourished.

Ekco Hot Plate 1960s (photo courtesy of RetrOriginalUK)

In 1916, Alexander says that Edward’s son, Arthur joined the company. They began to expand in the 1920s, which I would think would have been tricky because of the impending crash that they didn’t realize was coming. But they persevered. They acquired another company during the 20s and became a leader in the tin pan business.

Advertisement for Ekco State Fair Cookware (photo courtesy of From Janet)

In the 1930s they acquired the A&J Company and began producing utensils and gadgets. Arthur took over in 1939 after the death of his father and changed his name from Katzinger to Keating.

Ekco 1950s Rolling Pin (photo courtesy of Liz Finest Collection)

An article at “” goes into the different acquisitions that Ekco made over the next 35 years and chronicles their growth. FundingUniverse states that the company went public in the early 1940s and began acquiring even more companies.

Ekco Soap Dish (photo courtesy of Vintage Jewels and More)

Arthur continued to run the company through the 50s and 60s. During that time they really expanded the different types of items they made. There were items for the kitchen, the mudroom (shoetrees), bathroom, and more.

Ekco Shoe Stretcher (photo courtesy of Nena Faye’s Attic)

American Home Products acquired Ekco in 1965 with Arthur Keating passing in 1967. From here it gets kind of difficult to follow. goes into all the hands that exchanged this company through the 1990s, and there were quite a few.

Ekco Radio with Bakelite (photo courtesy of Darcy and Eliza Vintage Store)

Ekco was eventually part of Ekco Group, Inc. which was based in my home state of New Hampshire. Eventually Ekco Group, Inc. was acquired by WKI Holding Company out of Rosemont, Illinois. Ekco still puts out items including their Baker’s Secret line of bakeware.

Ekco Enameled Skillets Country Garden Made in Italy (photo courtesy of Treasured Past Vintage)

Even though they are still making products, their vintage stuff is very collectible. They used to make items in red, yellow, turquoise, pink and black. No surprise here, red is the color collectors look for the most (me included!). Black is collected the least.

Ekco Eternal Flatware Canoe Muffin (photo courtesy of Fulton Lane)

Do you have a memory of an Ekco kitchen gadget from your childhood? Tell me about it! I love hearing from all of you! I hope this has given you some good information about a company that was started by a young entrepreneur who came to America to find his dream and grew that dream into a house-hold name.

I wish you all a great week! Remember to party with me this week at the awesome link parties listed on the right.




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!




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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Rockin’ with Androck

If you’ve been reading this blog even a little bit, you’ll have realized by now that I love to hoard collect vintage kitchen stuff. It’s what I sell the most in the Vintage Eve’s shop and also what I write about the most. This week changes nothing! Look at this gorgeous Androck sifter with nifty atomic fifties graphics!

Androck Sifter circa 1950 (photo courtesy of Vintage Eve’s)

It has 3 sifting screens and single-hand action! How cool is that?! Seriously, I love this stuff. I’ve seen Androck pieces since I started collecting but when I went looking for information on the company, there was not a ton to find.

Androck Pastry Cutter (photo courtesy of Sweet Memories Vintage)

I dug deep starting with  which I’ve had to do before with the Lincoln BeautyWare I wrote about a few weeks ago. Sometimes, no matter how many items a company produces, there’s just  not a lot of information out there about them.

Androck Food Grater (photo courtesy of Kitten’s Retro Kitschen)

What I did find out was that Androck is a trademark of The Washburn Company. This led me to a book called “Spiffy Kitchen Collectibles” by Brian Alexander. According to Alexander, Charles Washburn started his company in 1880 and it was incorporated in 1882 as the Wire Goods Company.

Androck Ladle (photo courtesy of COurPix)

Then in 1911 a division of the Wire Goods Company, based in Chicago, and the Andrews Wire and Iron Works of Rockford, Il., merged in 1917. That still wasn’t the end of it, though. Finally in 1922, all those companies and one other manufacturer merged to finally become The Washburn Company.

Androck Sifter circa 1950 (photo courtesy of Milkweed Vintage Home)

They were located in Rockford, Il. and Worcester, Ma. Androck was a successful line into the 1940’s with their colorful red, yellow and green Catalin plastic handles. Production halted for a bit during WWII while the Washburn Co. produced items for the war effort.

Androck Hamburger Press (photo courtesy of Sycamore Vintage)

Now, my sifter and other Androck sifters got better and better when production resumed, until they came out with their best one (ahem, mine included) that had 3 screens and one-handed sifting action. They actually made a number of other items. Alexander says that the company made all kinds of kitchen gadgets; nut choppers, onion choppers and more.

Androck Egg Mayonnaise Mixer (photo courtesy of Taming Chaos)

According to Alexander, “in 1967 Roblin Steel Corp. of Buffalo, NY, acquired the Washburn Co.” All the production was consolidated into the Worcester, Massachusetts plant in 1973. But in 1975, that plant was closed. The machines and tools were sold to other companies so the Androck name showed up on products after 1975, but the true Androck production ceased in 1975.

Androck Nut Grinder (photo courtesy of Retro Vintagious)

Androck is a great collectible. Their items from the 30’s through the 50’s are some of the most collected items, including their great sifters!

Androck Necktie Rack! (photo courtesy of A California Cache)

That’s about all I could find about this great company. They were another one of those companies that created items that our parents or grandparents used to create the meals we remember eating around the kitchen table. Have a great week!

I’ll be partying this week at:

Adirondack Girl @ Heart!

A Tray of Bliss 

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