A sweet little Blue Mountain find from the thrift shop

Blue Mountain teapot

My newest treasure from the local thrift shops: a sweet little Blue Mountain Pottery teapot, probably from the 1960s, with the original label still attached.

I found what I consider a real treasure this past weekend, when Raymond and I took advantage of the pleasant sunny weather to run errands in both Madoc and Tweed and engage in one of our favourite pastimes: scouting out the local thrift and used-book shops. As you can see from my photo, it is a cute little teapot. And not just any cute little teapot. It’s a vintage cute little teapot made by the no-longer-extant Blue Mountain Pottery company of Collingwood, Ont. With the tag still on it!

Of course you remember Blue Mountain pottery – or you do if you grew up in the middle part of the last century in Ontario, as I did right here at the Manse in Queensborough. I wrote a post about Blue Mountain a while back (it’s here, if you’re interested), looking a bit into its history and onetime ubiquity – as well as exclaiming over the wackiness of a Blue Mountain ashtray built for four smokers to use at once. And in another post, here, I reported on finding a Blue Mountain solution to the problem of what to do with bits and bobs of jewelry and whatnot on my bedside dresser.

As I reported in that first post, I’ve picked up a few pieces of Blue Mountain here and there at local yard sales since Raymond and I bought the Manse, not because I’m especially fond of it but because it gives me a nice nostalgic feeling. That four-person ashtray, for instance: if that isn’t a blast from the chain-smoking card-party past, I don’t know what is. Sometimes I’ve forked over a dime or a quarter for Blue Mountain pieces for the sheer kitsch factor. Take these two beauties, for example:

Blue Mountain boot and chuckwagon

I mean, how could I not buy a Blue Mountain cowboy boot that said “Trenton, Ont.” in flowing gold script? Or a Blue Mountain chuckwagon coin bank? You couldn’t have passed them up either, I’ll bet.

But my little teapot is really something special. It’s very nicely designed and proportioned, for one thing. It would be just the thing to make tea for one in, giving you maybe two cups’ worth. And best of all, it is in pristine condition. People, it came with the original label! And on the back of the original label was the original store tag! As you can see here:

Marmora Gift Shoppe label

I don’t remember The Gift Shoppe in Marmora (and as far as I can tell from a quick online search it hasn’t existed in a long time), but perhaps some readers do. But I am delighted by the idea that someone, probably 50-some years ago, crossed the shop’s threshold in search of a gift, and found my pretty little teapot. Perhaps it was for a young woman heading off to university or a job in the city, and an exciting life on her own. Perhaps it was for a favourite aunt or grandmother. Wouldn’t it be nice to know?

At any rate, when I spotted it in the glass case at the front counter where the good stuff is kept at the Hidden Treasures thrift shop in Tweed, I knew that I had to have it. And at four dollars, I am sure it was a bargain; I’ve since found some like it, not necessarily in such brand-new condition, for sale online (like here and here) for $40 and more.

I do like a cup of tea every now and then, but I think my little Blue Mountain teapot is too pretty and precious to use. After all, its original owner kept it in pristine shape, label and all; who am I to mess with a good thing?

8 thoughts on “A sweet little Blue Mountain find from the thrift shop

  1. What lovely nostalgia. Brings back so many memories of when Blue Mountain was the coolest artisan stuff – almost too ‘out there’ for our family’s Stedman’s and Eaton’s comfort level. Blue Mountain was the stuff of gifts from our posh Toronto/Collingwood relatives. But as I read this, I can see wanting to pick up one or two pieces, one day. And thanks to you, Katherine, I will know where to go!
    Best of the first glimmerings of spring to you and Raymond. Cheers!

    • And to you, Lindi – so nice to hear from you! (Even as still more snow and freezing rain falls around us.) I had to smile at the “one day” in your musings about picking up a Blue Mountain sample or two. Somehow I think you could find a way to talk yourself out of it! (The chuckwagon at least.)

  2. hope this link works
    http://maxsold.maxsold.com/auction/407/item/30870
    if not it is from Maxsold , the auction house from Kingston does online auctions. This link was for 4 retro red chairs and another lot has a white chrome matching table. I have used this site for a number of purchases and can recommend. You have a few days to bid and when over there is a designated pick up date and time.

    • Richard, those chairs are gorgeous! Very tempting. Wouldn’t they look smashing along with the red fridge that I hope to have in the turquoise kitchen that I also hope to have here at the Manse? Oh man… But also, thank you so much for steering me to Maxsold! I had not heard of it before, and now I fear I will never be able to tear myself away.

  3. I have this wonderful teapot! It’s one of the less “artsy” offerings from often maligned BMP. Over the past few years, I’ve tried to accumulate a collection of what I consider to be nicer BMP pieces. They used to be everywhere, but, someday, I fear, there might not be much left. I too, remember the horrid rows of kitschy blue-green souvenirs, but some of the rarer pottery was beautifully made with lovely glazes and beautiful forms – often in limited editions.

    Yours is gorgeous. Pristine! Having the original hangtag does add to the value.

    (I got mine from the Chatham ON Salvation Army store – it is amazing how much joy a toonie can bring!)

  4. I was lucky enough to inherit two Blue Mountain Vases (quite large) from my mother-in-law after she passed. They have become a proud part of my home. The colour is rich and very trendy right now. Enjoy your tea pot.

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