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:
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:
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?