Friday, April 13, 2012

The McKinley Tariff Act and A Moss Roses Tea Set

This tea set dates to the onset of the Aesthetic Movement.  Yes, this beauty is almost 150 years old.  I was fortunate to find the three piece set still together.  

This set was made by Powell & Bishop, circa 1867-1878.   The Staffordshire firm had potteries at the Stafford Street Works and Church Works, both in Hanley, Stoke-On-Trent.

I love the detail of the transfer found on these pieces.  The brown transfer has feathery branches and delicate little flowers budding all over.  The roses are hand painted pink as are the leaves in two shades of green; a soft moss green and teal.  Some of the leaves have brown highlights.  Polychroming is thought to have originated after the invention of the transfer printing process, when artists fell out of work of doing the completely hand painted pieces which preceded transfer wares.

This set has that well loved cottage look.  
I decided to share this set today not only because of how pretty it is but because of the backstamp.  It is unusual and gives me the opportunity to share a little information on dating your pieces.  Does anyone know what makes this stamp so unusual?  Remember, this is almost 150 years old.

It is unusual because it states the country of origin, which prior to 1891 the majority of wares did not have this information stamped/impressed onto them. This is the oldest piece I  have come across to have the country of origin on it....that I can think of anyway.

 It was on October 1 of 1890 that the United States introduced the Tariff Act of 1890, under then Congressman (later Governor and President) William McKinley.  It is more commonly called the McKinley Tariff Act which made it mandatory for all items imported into the U.S. be marked with the country of origin.  This Act was introduced to raise the duty on imports by almost 50% so that domestic retailers were protected by foreign competition...and that is why, still today, items have the country of origin placed somewhere on them.  

 When Shawn and I were importing containers of furniture each piece had to have a sticker on it which clearly stated its country of origin.   Much to our dismay, during our importing days we had several containers  held up in customs because these stickers had not been applied by the manufacturer.  Each piece of furniture (about 200 to a container) had to be pulled from the container, unwrapped and stickers applied before customs would release the container to us.  It was VERY costly, as in $5-11,000 costly,  because we had to pay customs warehouses to do this as it was not allowed for us to hire this out or do it ourselves!  If you've ever had to deal with customs in regards to importing, you probably have already experienced your share of nightmares and if you import things and haven't had any nightmares with customs then you will, yes I can assuredly say, you will.

(all of the containers we imported came via Maersk on a ship just like the one shown case you don't realize how large those containers are they are what semi trucks pull behind imagine how many trucks will be hauling all that cargo to their final destinations)

In 1920 the McKinley Tariff Act was amended to include the words, 'made in' which preceded the country of origin.   It went into effect in 1921.  Think of all those 'Made In China' stickers you see on things now.   Generally speaking,  you can date a piece by those phrases.  If the object has a stamp that reads England it was made in or after 1891.  If it says 'Made in England' then it would denote a date after 1920.

(the words 'made in' tell us this was made after 1920)

However, there are some exceptions like the example I've shown above that is on my Moss Roses tea set.  A few English potters began marking their wares with the country of origin before the Act went into effect. This is not very common but it did happen on occasion.  After the Act was amended some potters still continued to use only the country of origin.  I have found lots of pieces by Royal Crownford, Royal Staffordshire,  Johnson Brothers and others made after 1921 that have only the country of origin.  

Dating pieces can be confusing, so I've got some books and sources that I use,  but let this serve as a basic and general guide you can always go by when you're out shopping for transferware and other goodies.

I will do another post with a more complete guide to dating your transferware later.  I've already started that's one of those 76 drafts I mentioned a couple of days ago.

I'm going to be busy tomorrow with Jonah and Kalyn getting ready for their proms but I'll be back in a couple of days to show you my hutch of red transferware that I rearranged and added some Spring decor to.
  Have a great weekend!

p/s the teaset is for sale in my Etsy shop,  English Transferware

See you at Beverly's for Pink Saturday 
Debra's for Marketplace Monday / Vintage Inspiration

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bacon 'n' Blue Cheese Red Potato Salad and Doggie Update

I hope that all you had a wonderful Easter with family and friends.
My sister hosted Easter at her home this year and she surprised me by letting me know that we'd be having a traditional ham dinner and not the usual cookout where we grill steaks or hot dogs and hamburgers.  I was planning to take this potato salad that I had made a few weeks ago but since I didn't get to do that I decided to share it with you here.  Anymore I take pictures of most dishes that we make (when I know it's worth sharing the recipe to) so that I've got them ready to blog.  Now, when Lauri (not Lori) see's this post she'll be asking me to make it for our next family cook out.
I do have to say that our traditional Easter dinner was scrumptious.  My brother in law served the best ham and my brother David (a fabulous cook) made the cutest deviled eggs I've ever seen.  I haven't even seen them in blogland so I'm hoping to snatch his idea and share it next year.

This potato salad is different than what I think of as traditional potato salad, which is my Moms recipe which happens also, in my opinion,  to be the BEST potato salad on the planet.  However, if you like mixing it up sometimes and having a side dish that's out of the ordinary, maybe even unexpected, then  this potato salad will be one you'll want to try.   Plus, the fact that it's darn good is reason enough to make it.  At my house it was a hit with everyone so I'll be making it again soon...maybe this weekend.

   Shawn just realized I was posting this recipe and says his mouth is literally watering for some of this potato salad.

Bacon 'n' Blue Cheese Potato Salad 
(tweaked by me from an old Bon Apetit' recipe)

2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey 
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3 lbs red potates, cut into quarters or halved if they are the very small ones
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles (about 3 1/2 ounces)
2 hard boiled eggs
Salt and Pepper to taste

Whisk oil, vinegar, red onion, parsley, 1 tablespoon chives, mustard, honey and lemon peel in large bowl until well blended.  Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Drain, rinse with cool water and then combine with the dressing mixture, tossing to combine.  Taste...add more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.  You can do this a day in advance and store in the refrigerator if you want to.  I think the flavors meld better this way.

Just before serving, toss with the chopped, hard boiled eggs, the remaining chives and chopped bacon. It's ready to serve!

And it is so tasty!
And of course it looks good served in little purple transferware bowls, available in my Etsy shop!

I'd love to hear from you if you all make this whether or not you  tweaked it to your own tastes.  

Doggie update:
Thank you everyone for all of the comments and emails on yesterdays post.  Kalyn found a home for the lady in heat dog last night shortly after I'd published my post.   I felt a little bad splitting them up.  I felt more relief though.  We have given Graham to the kids Aunt because we can't keep a dog, but they'll get to visit him when we go out to visit.  As of today Graham hasn't seemed to notice that the other one is gone and he is doing fine.
Here is Ashton with Graham being her normal unusual self who enjoys taking her own photos in glasses that aren't hers.  

She shared this quote with me, and I love it.  Hope you all do to.

Why fit in when I was born to stand out?

Stone Gable
Foodie Friday
Common Ground
Funky Junk Interiors
Thrifty Decorating
Flamingo Toes

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Ugly Non Easter Table and Miscellaneous Ramblings

Sometimes I have so much to write and so many thoughts and ideas flowing through my brain that I can't seem to get them out in an organized manner.  Currently I have 64...(I mean 76...I just looked) posts that I've started but not yet completed.  Shawn swears that I too have ADD but I don't think so, well most of the time I don't think so.  OCD?  Yes.  ADD? No, well maybe occasionally.  At least my test scores say I'm not ADD.  Did you know that you can take most psychological assesment tests online?  Haha I know, but it's true.  And most of them are the same ones your Dr. will have you take or fill out.   

This week has been a little more hectic than usual.  Michael and Ethan just moved into their own apartment.  I was glad and I was also sad.   I remember the first time Michael moved out.  I was fine with him moving out on his own...until he literally walked out the door to his place...and then the flood gates opened.  This time I didn't cry until the day after the boys left.  They don't know I cried though.  
They moved into the same complex they lived in before and that is good because it's less than a mile from us.

 Do you remember me posting about my living room? 
(the before pic is HERE)

  Well, from the living room we can see Michael's and Ethan's apartment complex from one of the windows.
  See that little building through the trees?  
Here's a better view zooming in a bit.
With my binoculars I can see in their window enough to know that the picture they just hung needs to be lowered by about 3".  Gosh, you'd think growing up around me they'd know better.  
Just kiddin' about the picture part.  
We all live in a hilly part of the city, probably at one of the highest elevations here in Tulsa.  Our house actually enters at one level and then is built into a hillside so you go downstairs to the bedrooms and then down a half flight of stairs to the master bedroom.  It's like a  2.5 story house.  From this view I'm on the main level where most of the living areas, my office and kitchen are.  My sister-n-law says when she's here that "it's like being up in a tree house".     

Anyway, two guys move out and then 
two moved in.  The next day, which was the day before Easter.  Lord, help me.

I think in my last post I mentioned that I'm more keen to having pictures of animals than actually having animals...well I wasn't kidding.   I admit, I'm not a big animal person.  I am NOT an animal hater or anything, I just prefer animals in like, say, um a 19th century oil painting.  
Yes, that's the kind of animal that suits me just fine.

  Our kids have begged us for a dog and this past weekend one of Kalyn's friends called saying she had two stray dogs that her parents wouldn't allow her to keep.  We said they could have one of them and agreed to keep both overnight, until the other went to a new home.  Well...that didn't happen.  The one on the left is in heat.  Thanks for the heads up on that.  We named the one of the right Graham.  They are both mild mannered dogs, so that's a plus...but is there anyone out there who wants the female?  Anyone?  Helloooo?  Youuuuu whooooo?  

I like these kinds of doggies:
or this kind:

Another thing that is happening this week is that Jonah is preparing for his high school graduation.  Today we picked up his cap and gown. 

He and Kalyn (my Junior) have prom this weekend.  I just took Jonah for his tuxedo rental yesterday.  That cost me $105 after applying the $40 off coupon.  What a racquet!  
Even though Jonah and Kalyn both have prom dates I guess it still has to be made official with the asking.  Jonah made a big PROM? poster and went to his dates work and embarrassed her in front of about 50 people in line waiting to be seated and held up the sign.  It had a place for her to check yes, or yes. Nice options.
Kalyn's boyfriend came over with her favorite drink from Starbucks and wrote PROM? around the cup.

Shawn made us Red Beans and Rice and called the boys (M & E) to see if they'd eaten.  Of course they had not. We took some over to them last night.  It is soooo good.  I've asked him to share the recipe soon.

Okay, now for my Easter table that was not to be.
These are the Royal Doulton plates I started to use.  

I hurriedly set a table last Thursday to post it to Tablescape Thursday.  My tablecloth needed ironing and after a little convincing by Shawn I decided that I could do this scape without ironing the cloth.   I convinced myself that the wrinkles were so evenly distributed it would look like it was meant to be that way.  huh?

 I continued to set the table and took lots of photos as I usually do.  Once I uploaded them and had a look at them I very soon came to this realization: Laziness doesn't pay, let me tell you.  It was like I was going to be doing an ad for the promotion of wrinkles.  Wrinkles on a face may be the sign of a well, long lived and wise life but on a tablecloth it just doesn't work.
 My table looked so bad that I decided it wasn't even worth posting.  So that's the story of my ugly, non Easter table.

How was your week?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Have A Blessed Easter

Could life so end, half told; its school so fail?
Soul, soul, there is a sequel to thy tale!
~Robert Mowry Bell~

Wishing you and your family a Happy Easter!

Italian Cream Cake Recipe Here