Thursday, November 1, 2012

Yum, soup!

Not long ago, for the first time in many years, I ventured into a Temple. Now, fret not! I haven't rejected my lifelong Christian beliefs; rather, I was seeking fulfillment of a different kind. A thrifty kind! The largest (only?) temple in town was hosting its annual Rummage Event. This three-day monstrosity outdid any of the church rummage sales that I have been to in the past. Day One, everything individually priced. Day Two, half price sale. Day Three, bag sale. I was worn out from the weekend, so I didn't make it to Day One, which fell on a Monday. But while my little ones were at soccer class on Tuesday afternoon, I took the three minute stroll down the street to check out the sale.

I only had a few minutes, so I had to work quickly. Luckily, I have perfected the lightning speed walk-through, and I wasted no time evaluating the two sections that were of most interest to me. Now normally, you know I love the vintage Christmas stuff, but I figured this was one sale that would disappoint on that front. So I concentrated my efforts in the kid books/games and china and glassware sections.

I immediately spotted a lovely ceramic piece among the plates and teacups that looked like old Johnson Brothers. I turned it over and indeed I was correct. It was marked $10, but since it was half price day, it was only $5. It wasn't one of my favorite Johnson Bros. patterns, but it was pretty and the piece was rather unusual. It was with the kitchen implements and seemed to possibly be a soup tureen but it had only one handle. And the lid didn't have the characteristic cut-out for a ladle. looked suspiciously like a chamber pot. But no, that couldn't possibly be, right? I brought it up to the sweet little ladies running the check out line. "What a beautiful soup tureen!" the woman checking me out exclaimed. "It is a soup tureen, right?" I asked, not at all sure. "Of course!," the lady replied, shaking her head at my ignorance. The other ladies nodded in agreement. I hesitated, but decided to buy it anyway.

my new "soup tureen"
I brought it home, placed it on my table, flipped open my laptop and googled away: "Johnson Brothers soup tureen." Countless examples of beautiful soup tureens, some with similar detailing, but none with only one handle and all had lids with the hole for a ladle. I tried googling one-handled soup tureens. Nothing came up. Then I followed my original instincts and googled Johnson Brothers chamber pot. Guess what? Of course, a number of pots very similar to mine flashed onto my screen. I had been right. I was now the proud owner of a turn of the century chamber pot. Happily, I did note that I had gotten an outstanding price for it. I only hope that some poor lady from the Temple hadn't been serving her grandma's famous matzoh ball soup in that pot for the past 50 years.


  1. Haha, no. It is in my sitting room. Maybe since my son has resisted both the potty chair and the big boy toilet, I should give this a try for its intended purpose!