27 Sep

It Was Grama Bi’s Fault

Prologue

You often find the most interesting things at airports. When we connected Frankfurt and Honolulu, this is what we found (besides SIL Betsy) at SFO. A wonderful exhibit of California pottery from the 40s. I adore this stuff, so I walked slowly and took it all in.

Chapter One

My Grama Bi had the cutest little 1910-ish house in Los Angeles, with pink and black tiles in the bathroom and curved cabinets in the kitchen. When I got my first apartment, she gave me a set of nesting bowls that embodied the feel of some of my favorite things about her house.

These were made by the Bauer company in the 40s to the 60s. I fell in love with the chunky, practical, honesty of Bauer’s cheerful pottery, which by the way, was on the verge of being a hot collectible (so hot in fact that they, and Fiesta, have reissued many designs in the last decade). When we found out we’d be returning to Germany after Mr. Incredible’s short assignment in Arizona, I decided that it would be better to put my collection in storage — knowing that our European housing would most likely be small with few cabinets.

Chapter Two

I spent the better part of yesterday unpacking boxes and reuniting with my treasures. Oddly, although I accounted for all the packer-labeled boxes on the mover’s inventory list, one box of pottery I packed, which may or may not have been inside another box, has disappeared. I’m really hoping that I somehow overlooked it and it will show up when I move some stuff in the garage or something. It had my favorite Aladdin teapot inside. Anyway, the above picture is what I’ve decided to keep. I focused my collection around Grama Bi’s bowls (in the back with some other pieces from the “Gloss Pastel” line) and the “Ringware” stacking refrigerator set (behind the aqua group) that my dad gave Mr. Incredible and I for our wedding. Of course, anything cobalt had to stay — my house is basically blue.

That leaves me with about the same amount of pottery in other colors or by other manufacturers, but all in good to excellent condition, all from the 40s to the 60s, all collectible. My plan is to put it up on Ebay, but I’m going to post it here first. Mostly because it’s purdy and I want to share, but on the off chance any readers are also fans of this gorgeous stuff, I’d love to give you guys first crack at it. I’ll try to post one “lot” per day, but don’t hold me to it.

10 thoughts on “It Was Grama Bi’s Fault

  1. Your pottery is in fabulous shape! I have been looking for a piece of “church” furniture like the cabinet you have ever since I saw yours in Arizona! Hard to find and even harder to describe! IS there a name for it?

  2. That’s the great thing about SFO international airport … all the lovely artwork that they show. Apparently it changes quite a bit. The last time that I was in there it had Native American artwork, including kachina dolls.

    Love the cobalt blue pottery!

  3. I want the big furniture!! But it in a boat and set it free. I will be waiting down on the Willamette! Hee! I am also interested in some of the pottery as you might expect. I was ecstatic to see your reveal this morning.

  4. Sorry to hear about the missing box and I do hope that it turns up! The set of colorful bowls is wonderful! I hope life on the sunny island is treating you well!

  5. Wow. What a stunning collection. I’ve never seen the mugs with the metal handles before.

    Wish I had room for it but I need to do some “letting go” of my own!

  6. Wow! I have never seen the metal handles before either. I just love the colors and shapes. I am curious about your “big” furniture also. The bottom looks like a map cupboard and the whole piece is wonderful. If you do ship it off to Gerrie and she misses it, let me know – I catch it as it goes up the Columbia!

  7. That’s cool about the CatalinaWare exhibit at SFO. My mother recently divied up and gave us kids a lot of her china, crystal, silverware. One of the pieces I took was a Catalina bowl, glaze a seafoam color- wide and not too deep used for flower arrangements. My parents got married in 1946 and this bowl was a wedding gift. It compliments my Fiesta Ware collection.

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