Brent and I were in Atlanta for the Scott Antique Market.
In those days you could get there on Wednesday morning and watch the outside dealers unpack and set up to get the best stuff*, and did we find some great stuff: a large round Empire table with a zinc top; half the blades of an eight-foot windmill (placed in a commission in Parker, Colorado); a complete four-foot windmill that we had powder coated a deep tomato red and placed in the same Colorado commission. (Do ya think I have an issue with tilting at windmills? Duh!) Which brings me inexplicably to the Brazilian water jars.
Whoops, not yet. At Scott’s you used to be able to go into the large inside hall early, while the vendors were setting up. What big fun and you got to see the best stuff before the show opened. **
One more windmill tale. Prior to the show opening, sitting on a table in an unmanned booth, was a 12-inch salesman’s sample of an Aerator Windmill. I snatched (love that word!) it up and walked off with it, telling the folks in the next booth that I had taken it. I gave them our card and told them we would return when the show opened to pay the rightful booth-holder for it. I was and am so pleased with our miniature windmill(s). I have a collection of three (only two are vintage) sitting on a credenza in my office. When we went back and paid for the windmill, the seller said he hadn’t even missed it. We all had a big laugh and off we went.
And we met the late Rosenbergs, a genteel couple in their mid-‘80s. Kind, gentle, and knowledgeable about all things regarding “premier peoples.”*** We never knew the Rosenbergs’ first names even though we purchased many gorgeous objects from them over the years. Our memories of this lovely couple are so much more enriching than any of the objects we acquired from them. (We’ll feature a few of these lovely things in future posts.)
Where was I? Oh yes the Brazilian water jars. While in the Atlanta Market we met a lovely woman who told us of an American who lived in the Brazilian highlands and had a warehouse in Atlanta. She gave us the address (kinda) and off we went.
What she did not tell us was that his warehouse was in an obscure area of industrial Atlanta that flummoxed Mapquest. We wandered around in our not small Sprinter for some time and finally located him. Needless to say he did not get much street/walk-in traffic. He was eager to make a “deal” (I loathe that word) so he could pay the IRS.
The place was two cavernous rooms. Furniture filled most of the floor space but one entire wall held shelves from floor to ceiling with his collection of water jars.
He moved to Brazil in the mid ‘80s and fell in love with the ceramic water jars made for domestic use. Not at all dissimilar to the wooden water buckets used here in the US of A prior to the blessings of municipal plumbing.
Only a few were more than 18 inches tall, some with flat bottoms for use on hard floors, some with rounded bottoms to sit on soft floors. All very beautiful each in its own right. We spent hours sorting though them to select the most striking glazes, with the fewest chips and the least cracks. Some had such radiant glazes that we overlooked the chipped rims. After all, these vessels had seen years of daily use.
We currently have a have a dozen or so of his jars in our collection. All are precious; none are cheap.
*by “stuff,” I mean, of course, “sh_t.”
**Alas, we can no longer do this by order of the fire marshal -- clearly a person of very large importance needing to be even more important. Really, Mr. Big Importance, go put out a fire or something of the fire persuasion; this flame has business to do.
***The French Canadian term for the indigenous people of North America. So much more gracious and respectful than “American Indian” or “Native American.”