Wednesday, 15 July 2015

A Box of Treasures

The items pictured below were found in a cardboard box in the Boulton house. My brother-in-law  Rick recalls they were taken to Reston for a "Museum Day" event where old items were displayed.  The newspapers  they were wrapped in were from 1958.  That would have been the 75th anniversary of the RM of Pipestone so that would fit.  They were quite possibly never unwrapped for the next 57 years!. I can't resist digging into treasures like that!

The paper says "Tea Set from England - Mothers
Owner - Mrs. Tom Boulton"
There are no markings on the bottom of the few pieces remaining from this set.  It is a pretty shade of blue and quite delicate china. The writing belonged to Merle Cassell Boulton, her sons tell me.  Her mother-in-law, Elsie Bushby Boulton (Mrs. Tom) left her home in England on September 11, 1913 with a trunkful of belongings, including these dishes.  I wonder how many were in the original set with only these dozen surviving for over 100 years.

We believe that this same trunk that made that voyage across the Atlantic so long ago is pictured above. In a twist of irony, the trunk made its way back across the pond a few years ago to the home of Elsie's great granddaughter Cheryl in Scotland.  It's a well traveled treasure!

"Souvenir of Brandon - Mother - 1909"
This type of glass cream pitcher seems to be called ruby flash or ruby stain and if you Google it, you will find many images of souvenirs from all over Canada and the US in this style.  Presumably this belonged to Ann Boulton, given to her by one of her five children; Herb, Thomas, Anthony, Susan or Louisa.

"Brought from England - over 200 years (old)
Belonged to grandmother of Mrs. Tom Boulton"

I am not sure which of her grandmothers this would have belonged to.  Elsie's maternal grandmother was Ann Wooler (ca 1839-1912). Elsie's mother Patience Wooler was born  in England in 1859 out of wedlock and was raised by Edward and Sarah Wooler, her grandparents.  Ann later married James Sanders and had at least 3 more children.
Elsie's paternal grandmother was Eleanor Moore Bushby (1819-1903) and she was born in Ferring, Sussex on the south coast of England.
It almost appears to be a shaving mug with the handle opposite the decoration.  There are similar ones online, even some moustache cups that look like it.  
There is a very faint stamp on the bottom of this cup that says "Made in Japan". There are many examples of this demitasse style of cup and saucer online that were handpainted at the turn of the century. 

 This little drummer boy has a piece of string holding his wings on.  The stamp on the bottom says it was made in Occupied Japan which dates it from 1947-1952, according to Kovels.
A Google Image search of lady with a piano brings up hundreds of figurines but none just like this one.  It makes you realize how many knickknacks there are and without the story of where it came from and who owned it, it's just another dust collector!   

The last two items in the box were beautiful beadwork, possibly done by one of the Boulton women or even by local Aboriginal ladies.  The one on the left appears to be a picture frame and I have guessed the one on the right may have held wooden matches or something else in the pouch.  "1899" is clearly beaded into the piece. Cousin Sharon tells me of a beaded purse that her Mom told her was given to the family by local Aboriginal ladies. Ann always had food to share with them and these pieces may have been their way to repay her kindness.

Any further research or information about these items would be most welcome!