Why Is "The Old Dark Blue"
"Old Dark Blue"
Old New England
"All About Anyway"
If you have read the title of this note (blog post) then... you know more of... and about... this topic than the vast... “rest of them” including the ‘in New England’. And... from reading the title... you now know ‘something’ about old New England “china” too. It is a ‘JUST a LITTLE’... ‘know something’.
But that’s enough for a ‘your start’.
I know all about it (‘The Old Dark Blue’ in ‘The Old New England’). I had an early start so let me start you back there and... come along from back there... and then too... you may come along. Again: the subject is “The Old Dark Blue” in “The Old New England”. Don’t worry: Some people already know EXACTLY what I am writing about.
When I was six... or five... but probably not four... I would walk up to the end of a street... that was “up past” The Common... in my (Maine, New England) village. I walked with my Grandmother... every day, at early evening... all year round including the winter season. It was not a ‘long’ walk or a ‘hard’ walk. We, together, would just walk... “up and back”. That was it. Sometimes we’d talk. Sometimes we wouldn’t. We didn’t have any dog on a leash or something like that. I suppose I was the ‘dog’ on the ‘leash’. I’m not sure because I never ran off; the ‘a leash’ never ‘got tight’.
After about two or three years of this walk; one day... ‘starting back’ at the end of the street where we always ‘turned around’... we were walking back
Past a house that was then (late fall) “closed up” and “IS BEING SOLD”. Too. The former happened to all houses that were ‘summer places’ of the owners (the house’s “PEOPLE”). The latter is what happened to these houses after the ‘people’ (owners) “died off”. So what was happening at this house right then was “NOT” unusual; the house was ‘closed up’ and ‘being sold’. So we would ‘walk by” that house during all this ...too. My grandmother would call all of this a “we walked by the **** place”.
“Oh. They’re selling that you know.”
“Yes. I wonder what will happen to it.” My grandmother would say.
Well... she knew damn well what was going to happen “to the place” but never told me any of that. She knew “the **** place” was going to be ‘cleaned out’ and SHE would be the one doing that cleaning out if SHE had anything to... well... very few ever ‘beat her’ on this; cleaning out... old houses. But she never told me that. Either. I just walked up and down the sidewalk beside the street with her. Then... the one late fall afternoon... when this place was closed up and being sold... and we were walking by... my grandmother left our usual sidewalk trail and skirted (literally in her skirt) across the front yard of the ‘closed up’ and ‘being sold’ ‘place’ to the ...front screened-in porch surrounding the front door. She peered through the screening for a few minutes adjusting her view ever toward the left side where ‘the door to the porch’ was (on the left side). I didn’t care what she was doing and saw nothing of interest to me at all... but ...trailed along behind her. She was looking IN the screened-in porch but I was too small to do that. Too.
When we reached the front end at the left, where the porch went ‘back to the house’ and ‘had the door’... my Grandmother... peeked along that screen work too until she came to the screen door... that was latched from the inside; ‘closed’. She peeked... then peered... ‘in’ there too. Then she looked down at me... loyally standing next to her. I looked up at her. Her right foot went forward and kicked the lower right rectangle of the screen door and... there was there... a screen section that was very loose... while the other sections of the door were not loose... because this section was used ‘by their dog’ to ‘go in and out’ from the porch to pursue and ‘bark at’ people walking by on the sidewalk... ‘during the summer’. We both knew this because we, too, endured these ‘go in and out’ “all summer” “bark at” of the ‘their dog’.
My grandmother, after looking at me and kicking the loose screen, turned her view back upon the inside of the screened porch. She said to me... jabbing her finger at the upper screen to emphasize that she spoke about INSIDE the porch... “GO (crawl through the dog’s screen door hole) in there and fetch me that pot in there; that BLUE one.” Then she turned and walked off back to and ‘down’ the sidewalk along the street.
I could see the blue pot she ‘wanted me to get’. It was ‘in there’ (the porch)... on a table. Dirty. A dirty blue pot on a dirty old table with some dead and dirty old ‘plants in pots’ too. I could see it. NO PROBLEM. So I went in the dog’s door and ‘fetched it’ like I was told too. And came back out the dog’s door. And followed rapidly after my grandmother who was ‘pretty far down’ the street ‘already’. I scampered after her... clutching the blue pot. As I caught up to her... I actually... and I remember this concisely... looked at the blue pot: I remember this clearly... looking at it... as I scampered. It... was the old blue pot that my Grandmother told me to ‘fetch’ for her. I did that and am now remembering looking at it and, superficially, wondering ‘what is it?’. Well... I know now what it was (is). This was the first time that I ‘know’ I ‘saw’ and ‘handled’... “The Old Dark Blue”. My grandmother was no idiot when it came to ‘fetching’.
Exactly what the ‘blue pot’ was (is)... IS... A...
Sugar bowl bottom missing its top (lid). An Old Dark Blue... sugar bowl bottom... with old chips at all edges, broken and ‘old glued’ handles, old wandering spider web darkened ‘hairline’ ‘cracks’ and actual holes letting light in and leaking a contents out...: An Old Dark Blue American Historical Staffordshire (earthenware) (“soft paste”) transferware “china” sugar bowl with a decorative historic scene showing “General” Lafayette visiting Benjamin Franklin’s “tomb” and reclining there amid the foliage and self reflections of his... for his... old friend. In 1824. This is a well known (“common”) (American Historical) “SCENE” to “collectors”
“OF THIS” (The Old Dark Blue).
I do not remember caring a hoot about the ‘that’ of ‘WHAT” “IT” “IS”. But... I handed “IT” off to my grandmother and
NEVER, ever, have ‘forgotten’ “IT”.
My Grandmother gave “IT” a courtesy look while gripping this old blue pot with one hand. Then... the pot disappeared from my sight for, well... maybe as long as a decade. Yes: Ten years. Oh... it was ‘around’ in my Grandmother’s “STUFF” but I did not... handle and examine... “IT”
For ten years. Probably. Did she know ‘what it is’?
SHE absolutely KNEW exactly... when she saw it through the screen at the porch. She had, I know now, “spied it” well before I went in the dog door. All that... was just a need to “act”. What she did... and asked me to do... is ...calmly... referred to as ‘a rescue’. It is a “done” when that is the best way to... rescue... an antique from ‘being lost or destroyed. If that is new to you... I advise that after a half century of ‘doing them’ it becomes ‘a nothing’ and a ‘right thing to do’ with ‘everyone’ (antiquarians) knowing about “HAVING” to “DO THIS”.
Yes... that’s a way of looking at old china... isn’t it. And yes it is a ‘deeper than that’ ... as the reader may be sensing... TOO. That’s why I’m writing this down for you: IT IS a ‘deeper’; this Old Dark Blue... Staffordshire... china... in Old New England.
I... when I creeped out the dog’s door... had become... smitten... forever “WITH” The Old Dark Blue. I did not know this for ‘at least’ ten years. But when I found out I had “NO PROBLEM” being that; an Old Dark Blue Smitten. My grandmother was a ‘long ago before you were born’ smitten. She told me that... probably twenty-five years after the dog’s door creep. My mother was smitten too.
With the Old Dark Blue.
What I have said (through my years at this) to the... any party’s inquiry... is that, simply, if one starts out with the old dark blue the way I did (creeping through a dog’s door)... you never forget ‘IT’ at all... ever... every time you see it anywhere ever no matter what and
One tends to be around other people who know all about this too. All about WHAT?
All about ‘broken’ ‘old’ ‘china’ from the New England Federal settlement era; especially the Old... Dark... Blue
; And its heritage in Old New England. Heritage? That is, for example, how my grandmother gripped the old sugar bowl bottom with her one hand when she... took it away from me. And any behavior like that silent gripping. She never told me any of this. I had to find out for myself. And I did. IF... THEN... you want the ‘you will too’... you will too... have to do it... that way. You will also... once you start on the ...Old Dark Blue... in Old New England... gather fellow travelers about you... soon enough.
I did not “start” or ‘know’ anything about this for ten years after my ‘first piece’ of Old Dark Blue. And that was not even ‘my piece’. It was my grandmother’s: SHE FOUND IT. It was over ten years before I “FOUND” my “FIRST PIECE”. And started to learn and understand what this (the old dark blue heritage) is