This week, I'm calling on all of you expert collectors out there to help me with two questions: What is this thing? And, what should I do with it?
My mom gave me this (very large and heavy) crock last time I was at my parents' house. My husband was really thrilled, I'll tell ya. One more thing to add to the collection of dishes, knickknacks and assorted furniture that is crowding our house at the moment. But I am a sucker for anything with a sense of history.
My mom bought two of these at an auction over 20 years ago for $17 each. (And yes, I'm sure I'll be taking the second one home too.) Originally my mom and I thought it was a butter churn (missing the lid), but (with a little googling), I see the butter churns tend to be a different shape.
It's pretty clear from the marking that this piece is stoneware from the Robinson Ransbottom Pottery Co. of Roseville, Ohio. The company began operation in 1900, and, by 1906, it was producing 12,000 gallons of stoneware a day. Ransbottom Pottery became the world's largest manufacturer of stoneware jars before it stopped producing in around 2007.
While googling, I found they sell something similar on the Williams-Sonoma website. Their crocks are actually made by Ohio Stoneware, the company that bought the Ransbottom Pottery equipment and continued making the same type of crocks. Williams-Sonoma calls them "classic stoneware pickling crocks." My crock is larger than the Williams-Sonoma offerings at 8 gallons.
Okay, so is it a butter churn? Is it a pickling crock? Or is it something else?
And does it matter?
Because, let's face it, I won't be doing any of these things. So, what should I use it for? My mom suggested an umbrella stand, but I already have one of those. For years, Mom wanted to plant cacti in it, put plexiglass over it and make it a patio table, but she never got around to that. I'm thinking it would be better off indoors, anyway, so it doesn't get broken.
What do you think?
And by the way, Jolene is the ultimate photobombing champion. I can barely take a picture without her getting into it.
Linking up with these wonderful sites: Boogieboard Cottage and A Living Space and Remnant and Me and My Shadow and Sir Thrift A Lot and Hey What's for Dinner Mom? and Knick of Time and The Thrifty Groove and The Cottage Market and Free Pretty Things and Apron Thrift Girl