Category Archives: Heirlooms

Family Heirloom: Baby’s Silverware Set

A friend of mine has been sharing a lot of photos of her new grandson lately. It got me to thinking about some of the baby items that have been in my family.

I still have my own silver baby cup and spoon, but I also have the while little baby silverware set that my husband used to eat his first bites of food.

This is the cutest little set that was actually used, as there is light wear on the utensils.

Dave’s First Silverware Set

This set was made by Rogers Brothers, patented in 1847, and called the Step Up Set for Children. In case the new mother wasn’t sure what utensil to use when, they are grouped. To the left, we have the spoon to use to feed the baby. The next spoon and fork are for when baby was ready to feed himself. The third set on the right was for a young child.

My mother-in-law carefully kept this set intact. Notice the little gift tag at the top left? That is the original tiny card that came from Grand Aunt Myrtle and her daughters.

Gift Card and Directions from Rogers Brothers

Even the paper explanation from Rogers Bros. has survived with the set!

Covered Set

The plastic cover is well scuffed up, but it has done its job protecting the contents.

This little set became a two-generation gift when I used it with our son.

Do you have any heirloom baby sets in your family?

Family Heirloom: Nipper Shakers

My mother-in-law, Ruby, was a collector and a keeper. Boy, did she save things, but that is another story. I have to admit, though, that hands down, the cutest item we inherited from her was this salt and pepper shaker set:

Nipper the Dog Salt and Pepper Set

I asked Ruby once what these were and she said they were the ceramic salt and pepper shakers that featured the RCA Victor dog, Nipper. I didn’t think to ask if she or Dave’s grandmother had bought these or if they were the one of thousands of estate and yard sale items that she scooped up.

I did check the bottoms of the shakers for a mark and, sure enough, it was there:

Radio Corp. of America

They were made by RCA or by the company’s formal name – Radio Corporation of America.

This set is in perfect condition. Each shaker is 3 1/2 inches high. There isn’t even a tiny chip to be found on either shaker and there is only very slight crazing, which is normal, down the front of the dogs’ chests and the glaze is shiny and new. The original cork plus are intact, too. I don’t think this set was ever even used.

How much are they worth? Well, value is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. I’d say maybe $10 for the set. EBay has 30 listings, from $8.95 to $89.00 (wishful thinking on that seller’s part!), including a mint set in the original box for $52.16, on sale! Sold listings show they went for roughly a $10 average. It also looks like there are some reproductions out there. I don’t know if this set is in that category or not.  However, I am not looking to sell because they are just too cute!

Stufflebean Family Heirloom – 100 Years Old

The Stufflebeans are fortunate to have some glassware, decorative bowls and dishes along with some miscellaneous odds and ends that have been passed down through the generations.

Since I haven’t shared any of these (of little monetary, but tremendous sentimental value) treasures, I thought it was time I headed to the china cabinet to see what I might be able to find.

Luckily, I know the provenance of some of our possessions, including this one.

Earl and Pearl’s Wedding Gift

I am not even sure what to call this or how to describe it. A pedestal candy bowl maybe? It’s not really big enough to hold much fruit.

I do know that this pretty little cut glass bowl is at least one hundred years old because Pearl told my father-in-law that this was a wedding present given to Pearl and Earl when they married on 10 August 1916. That information was written down on a little folded piece of paper that was kept in the top.

This bowl has three different cut glass patters in it. You can see two of them here – the X cuts that are in each of the four corners of the bowl and the straight line cuts seen on the stem.

The third pattern can only be seen when looking down:

Criss-crossed pattern,
mimicking shape of the bowl

This bowl measures 7 1/4 inches high by 6 1/2 inches wide.

Another View

Its base measures 4 1/2 inches squared and the stem is hollow.

I am not sure what style this is, but I would almost call it Art Deco, even though that style didn’t officially begin until about 1925. I guess it was part of the Arts and Crafts style that preceded Art Deco.

This bowl likely made a fine wedding gift one hundred years ago, as it is beautifully cut, is very decorative and weighs several pounds.

However, I doubt this was ever used for much more than display or perhaps brought out when very special company came calling because I have run my fingers over every edge. There is not a chip to be found anywhere on it, nor is there any kind of scratch or scrape on the glass surfaces. The rim under the base that sets on the table doesn’t even show any wear.If I didn’t know better, I would think that someone bought this very recently and it was brand new!

I have to admit that I have not used this beautiful little heirloom either. It remains tucked safely away in my buffet. I will have to change that, though, and bring it out the next time the family gets together.

If you can help me identify this style, exactly what this piece would have been called and its typical use, I would appreciate a comment.