Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Fine China For A Fine Kitchen

Well, actually it is crystal and porcelain. My Great Great Grandmother’s to be exact. Her name was Henrietta Bannon and she came from Ireland in about 1860. She and my Great Great Grandfather met while he was visiting Ireland and she moved here and they married and lived in Louisville, KY.

Most of this was hers but it was added to a little bit by both my Great Grandmother and my Grandmother. When my Grandmother died in the late 70s it all went to my Mom’s cousin in Tampa, FL. My Mom’s cousin passed away about 3 years ago and it was all willed to my Mom. My Mom now lives in a small apartment and has no room for it, so she asked me if I wanted it seeing as I’m restoring an 1895 Victorian. I said yes. It arrived from FL about 2 years ago and has been stored in the attic ever since. Now that I have a kitchen – well, almost – and a cool hutch, I thought I’d haul it all out and have gander at it.

My Mom tells me that it all predates the turn of the century but I am far from an expert. I don’t think there is anything too valuable. The best pieces by far are the ones painted by Henrietta Bannon. It was a popular pass-time in Victorian times for ladies to paint porcelain. French factories pumped out tons of plain white porcelain that was shipped to the US for the sole purpose of being painted by woman.

I also got Henrietta Bannon’s parlor furniture, a set of silverware, and pretty cool carving set. Eventually all this stuff will go in the built-ins that still need to be built in the dining room. Honestly, a few years ago this would have done little for me, but now I really like it. Not just because I think some of it looks nice, but more because it is nice to have continuity to one’s past.

Painted and Signed by Henrietta Bannon


StuccoHouse said...

Very nice. Of course, on your next trip to the local antique shop you will need to find a nice, old, crocheted, lace runner. Those dishes would look so nice with the dark green shelf...crisp ivory or white lace....and them on top.

Becky said...

I think that things handed down through family are a big part of what make a house a home.

Jocelyn said...

very nice- I like having things like that for the connection to the past. I have a set of Wedgewood plates biding their time in the basement until Steve makes our plate rack. It's nice to be able to bring that stuff out isn't it?

merideth said...

that's just cool...i love sentimental objects...especially ones with which you have a familial attachment...

Kristin said...

I'm so jealous. My only "family heirloom" is my grandmother's blue glass chicken candy dish. Gee.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised to see your site re:henrietta bannon.

Her granddaughter, also named Henrietta, born 1898, was a talented young artist. Several years ago I purchased a large oil painting of her's circa 1917. She was a student and later taught at St Catherine's Academy in Springfield, Ky.

I found a relative of HB from the site Gathering Leaves. When I contacted the author to learn more about her art career, he was surprised to learn HB had an artistic background, no one in the family had ever talked about it.
He did own several, I think, unsigned, dated portraits of her grandparents. We concluded they would've been early in the time frame she attended art school.

I think the younger Henrietta may have painted your china.

If the Gathering Leaves site is related to your family, I think you'll find it interesting.

The author posted photos of Henrietta and her family, it was delightful to put a face with the story.

Greg said...

Thank you for contacting me. The author of Gathering Leaves is my older brother. I am very familiar with the two paintings he owns. They are portraits of Henrietta and her husband. I’ve begged for him to let me hang them in my home, but he insists on keeping them. I would also love to see images of the paintings you have. I quick digital image would be great. Isn’t interesting how the internet has brought people together. The whole thing is fascinating.

Send any correspondence to petchhouse at windsweptsoftware dot com