Good Score! is a weekly feature here at Red House West highlighting our readers’ secondhand finds. If you scored a great bargain at a thrift store, found a treasure on the side of the road, or discovered a one-of-a-kind gem at a yard sale, we’d love to hear about it! Please send a picture and a brief description of what, where and how much to email@example.com -OR- use the hashtag #rhwgoodscore on Instagram and each Friday we’ll share a couple of highlights. To see Good Scores from previous weeks, click here.
We are so excited to announce our first giveaway! For each Good Score you submit between now and May 28 – either via firstname.lastname@example.org or the Instagram hashtag #rhwgoodscore – you will receive an entry into a random drawing for a set of Mera’s hand carved and printed avian cards!
We’ll announce the winner in the Good Score post on Friday, May 30. This contest is open to residents of the United States (including Alaska!) and Canada. Limit five entries per person (we’re highly optimistic about folks’ enthusiasm).
In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, here is a Good Score submitted by my (Katie’s) darling mom Susan. Reading this today I was thinking how my love of old things – and of researching their stories and those of the people whose lives they’ve been part of – certainly comes from her:
Sometimes a “good score” is identifying a family heirloom. I inherited this octagonal Zamara pattern teapot on the death of my mother in 1989, I often fill it with flowers. It still holds water but its broken and glued handle and the chips on the rim, lid and spout mean that it no longer can serve tea.
I found this picture of the teapot in my mother’s first year album, dated 1911. It’s murky but I think you can see the tea pot sitting on the buffet shelf in front of the mirror, reflecting it and her daintily dressed image.
Googling “Zamara china” linked me to a site called www.thefind.com where a similar pot is selling at Ruby Lane for $350. Our chipped and glued pot probably isn’t that valuable but finding its history online thrilled my genealogical, sleuthing self. Zamara was made by potter Francis Morley in Staffordshire, England, between 1848-1858 and imported by Tyndale in Pennsylvania.
My great-great grandparents married in 1851 in Ohio and it’s possible this teapot was among their gifts. As a minister’s wife, Mary Groves Nuzum would have had many opportunities to serve tea. My great-grandmother Jenny inherited the pot from her. Jenny was six when President Lincoln came to their little town in Wisconsin where they lined the streets to see him and cheer. Did they then go home and share tea after this great event – talking as my grandmother told me the story, told to her by her mother – about his goodness and the freeing of the slaves?
This Zamara pattern is known for its lotus and scroll design. Each lid has a special cap; ours is a scalloped flower.
White, blue, yellow, rose and green,the colors of earth and sky, decorate this cherished pot. It’s graced many homes in its at 152-162 year life. It traveled from Ohio to Wisconsin to Oregon to California and back to Oregon. As I place it on my table, I think of all the women, my mother and the mothers, before her, gathering friends and family around them and pouring tea.
Thanks for reading this post! Don’t be daunted by how involved my mom’s Good Score is. They can be (and usually are) brief – who, what, where and how much – so send ’em in and be entered in our giveaway! Mera will be back on Monday showcasing some of the most beautiful rugs you’ve ever seen –which just happen to have been made by her mom. Have a terrific weekend.
What a beautiful and timely post by Katie’s mom. These treasures have so many stories to tell, and you’ve shared this one so eloquently Susan. All those women having tea – sharing news and maybe secrets and family gossip. And now the pot holds the colors of spring. Lovely.
Who wouldn’t want some of those cards. although the patient cat looks like he is not sure he wants them. A good challenge and a great prize.
What a wonderful story.
Thank you, Katie and Mera, for posting my lengthy “good score.” Red House West’s creative energy delights me and is encouraging me to write these family stories. The teapot like Aladdin’s magic lantern, held, touched and considered in our present becomes a portal to the past. And thank you, Carol, for your appreciation of my story. No more “good score” posts like this one coming your way but definitely a “family album” is taking shape in my imagination.
This is a wonderfully told story Susan – I loved it. I particularly like your expanding “good score” this week to include the identifying of a family heirloom – and the thought of telling family tales through cherished objects.
And dang! Mera that Wolsey is a handsome guy!
Thank you, ladies. Wish we were all gathering for tea…
Thanks for sharing your wonderful teapot. what a work of art! Amazing something so fine could withstand all those years of use.
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