Finding treasures in antiques stores is always a thrill. The hunt is half the fun, but the real rush is the realization that you have found something truly stupendous. Last week I found a beautiful, shimmering six piece set in a local antiques store and fell in love.
The six pieces include a gravy boat with saucer, as well as a lovely two handled piece whose use I can only speculate at. I’m going to assume it’s some sort of sauce recipient that should have some sort of ladle perhaps? It’s a fun mystery. If you have an idea of what this odd saucier was for, let me know. (And no it is not missing a lid since the inside is covered in gold).
The next three pieces include a cream and sugar combo with a saucer for the cream pitcher. The use for this seems a lot more obvious but no less majestic and would be the perfect addition to any tea party.
Here is a close up of the luxurious peacock and vines pattern that covers all six pieces of this set. I love peacocks and was very attracted to the matching set. So imagine my surprise when I took the set home with me and looked at the bottom of the pieces (as I always do) and found different porcelain maker’s marks!
I was now presented with a puzzle. The piece was obviously unified by the all-over gold peacock pattern but came from different manufacturers. I’d never seen anything like this before and decided to focus my attention on the golden lion mark instead of the porcelain mark in itself since all six pieces shared the golden blason.
Pickard is a renowned name, a china company founded in Chicago in 1893. It started out as a china decorating franchise where students from the art institute and local artists would design one of a kind pieces. They were not producing the china pieces themselves but instead buying them from outside sources (namely European ones), decorating them and selling them in the United States. In 1911, founder Wilder Pickard invented a new kind of decoration, the “all-over gold” which covered the china in a fine coating of 24 carat gold before imprinting a pattern on said gold. Pickard is known for it’s “daisy and rose” patten especially. That being said, they started manufacturing their own porcelain in 1933 and have become the providers for the White House china as well as providing for the US embassies across the world and the formal china sets of heads of state and royalty.
As for my particular lion mark… It was used by the Pickard company from 1925 to 1930.
I’ve researched as much as I could online and haven’t found heads or tails (or feathers) of Pickard peacocks. I can only assume that it’s quite rare and I’ve truly found a great addition to the collection.