Friday, September 3, 2010

The Continental Silver Company

The shaggy type of mum is the variety featured in the Continental chrysanthemum pattern: the pattern that appears to have been the all-time favorite of all the motifs created by this company. If the interest expressed since the Aluminist  started appearing online is any indication, it is still the favorite. I have an old catalog with 24 pages featuring mainly the chrysanthemum pattern.

From my collection, here are only a few....

The handle detail shows a wood inset, making this pitcher  uniquely different from the more common concave handles with their applied leaf decoration.

The tumbler, R. is rare and several years ago brought $50 each when they could be found. A set of eight would deplete one's pocketbook.

Not all Continental ice buckets were open -- A page from a 1950-51 catalog shows four styles, three lidded.

Some of you collect according to your favorite pattern, some collect boxes and some collect it all. I cannot decide upon a favorite company or pattern, but I have assembled a sizable collection of silent butlers. I may have an example of each style that Continental produced plus as many different styles of every other company that I could find, making a total of at least fifty. It's a weakness!
Perhaps the most exciting find of Continental that many of us have in our collection is the coffee urn and its sugar and creamer. The complete set, #22, came with a plain tray, the urn, and the creamer and sugar. The creamer and sugar were also sold as a set with their own small tray.

I bought my urn separately from the creamer and sugar. I also had, at one time, the tray to the set but that was before I knew it was a part of the complete set. It was plain and I was not fond of it so it was sold. One of the favorite pictures in my collection of photos, is one taken with the proud collector holding the complete set. Her happiness practically jumped out of the photo!

A similar set was sold without the urn but instead had a coffee server

A collector recently shared this tale with me: "I was at a large summer antique market and had just come across a great Continental find--the coffee pot, cream/sugar and tray in the Chrysanthemum pattern. I had tried to get the coffee pot several times on EBAY but had always lost out. This set was in excellent condition Just as I started to talk with the dealer about it a tornado warning alarm went off. did I seek cover...No. Decided my odds of getting hit by the tornado were slim. Went on talking with the dealer and I now have that set in my collection.

That pretty well sums up a collectors mania for whatever they collect. If an unique piece is found, leave no stone unturned until you get it for your own!

I had the same attitude when I located a punch set..complete with all 12 glass cups! In fact, piggy banks, loose car change, change beside the sofa pillows, and numerous other sources had to be turned to in order to Motifspay for the dratted thing! But it's now mine!

For future Aluminist issues....
Continental produced a great variety of motif and I believe I have examples of each of these listed here. Also the items shown in the catalog may reproduce well enough to be able to include here examples of the great variety of items the company produced in the chrysanthemum pattern.

Bird-of-Paradise  Buck & Doe   Dogwood     Pussy Willow            
Hunt Scene         Chrysanthemum    Wild Rose     Daisy      
Pansy                  Iris                        Corduroy

Other of your suggestions, questions, and notes of interest will be in the next Aluminist. They are all saved so continue to leave your comments.
They guide the direction we take in each future issue.