poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘collection

Tomato Ware

with 32 comments

One of my favorite collections is my odd set of bright orange-red Tomato Ware dishes.

Tomato Ware

They are usually marked ‘Made in Occupied Japan’ or ‘Made in Japan’ and were made in the late 1940s and the 1950s.  Two of my pieces are marked Maruhon Ware (with a K surrounded by a circle).  Maruhon Ware was made from the 1920s to 1950s.  ‘Made in Occupied Japan’ means the piece was made from 1945 to 1952.

maker's mark

The pieces in my collection are shaped like tomatoes (I have one set of salt and peppers shaped like long peppers).  They are glazed pottery, coloured in an over-bright green and an orangy red.  Most have green leaves as decorations, clasping the base of handles or teapot spouts.  My collection is in good shape, the only flaws being a large chip out of the spout of one teapot and a broken handle on one creamer.

Tomato Ware teapots

three Tomato Ware teapots (the green apples and the larger salt and pepper shakers, 2nd and 3rd from right, are modern pieces)


I have:

2 jam pots

2 cups/tumblers

3 teapots (one marked with the K surrounded by a circle)

3 pair cream and sugars

1 pair cream and sugar with a tray, and one lone creamer

1 set of salt and peppers

1 set of salt and papers with a tray

1 set of salt and peppers on a tray with a basket handle  (belonged to my mother)

1 lone salt shaker

1 set of pepper-shaped salt and peppers

2 tea cups and saucers (both marked Maruhon Ware)

Mom's salt and pepper shakers

The dishes are very bright and provide an accent color for my very green living room.

Tomato Ware collection a


Do you have any pieces of Tomato Ware?


Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

February 18, 2013 at 7:50 am

collecting glass animals

with 4 comments

Today, I cleaned my collection of glass animals.  Cleaning them takes a long time since I don’t clean them often.  I wash each piece in soapy water and air dry it on a towel.  As I work, I enjoy their sparkle and I think about how I got each piece.  Since most of them are second-hand, I think about the unknown people who owned them before me.

Most of the animals in my collection belong in one of three categories:  covered dishes, candle holders and dresser jars.  A couple of the pieces belonged to my Mom.  A couple of them are pieces she gave me as gifts.  The rest, I found over the years at antique stores or auctions.

some glass animals

The covered dishes are mostly hens or chickens…

hen dishes

My favorite hen dish is a funny round chicken in clear glass…

clear hen dish

I also have a rabbit in this collection…


and a duck…

clear glass duck

I have a few glass birds of various colors.  Each bird has a berry in its beak, and a hollow in its back to hold a candle…

glass birds

I’ll show you some of my dresser jars in the next post.

Do you have a hen dish among your dishes?

blue hen dish


Parting the Collection



to collect: to gather together

these prisms

of glass and light

took a lifetime

what will become of them

when what becomes of me?



collect: a short prayer

from a mouth like dust


I bid for each

between Limoges and Occupied Japan

with a steady hand

and a palpitating heart




feathers pressed into glass

bird in the house

at the window


cut crystal

edge of flight

from the menagerie


ruby swan

amethyst bee

topaz duck


glazed eyes



lenses rise in your throat

siliceous gasses

burst from your beak

as a berry


past and future



shards of glass

shared among

my daughters

do not understand

the meaning

of collection


do not know

a Sybil

rises in your beak



Published as ‘Parting the Collection’, The Antigonish Review 95, Autumn 1993


blue glass bird with berry in its beak


Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

January 23, 2013 at 7:36 am

a moment of beautiful – new friends

with 18 comments

the space- a shelf in an antique store

the beautiful- creating a collection of two


I took a break from writing this week, to take a drive to the Woodstock area, for lunch with my husband and to check out any antique stores we saw.  We visited one store and I saw what I wanted the minute I walked in.

It was a little china salt and pepper shaker, a little Dutch boy, I think, from the bit of research I did on eBay.

He looked familiar, so I paid a dollar (a dollar!) and he came home with me.  At home, I was so happy to find that he ‘matches’ another little Dutch figurine I have had for a long time.   My figurine is not a salt and pepper shaker, but he is the same size and gloss.  My son would say they belong to the same ‘universe’.

It is so much fun to meet new friends.


©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

July 21, 2012 at 8:02 am

holding on to our space

with 3 comments

We are in a competition for space.  A population of geckos has moved into our house.  They are everywhere:

on the wall…

under the cupboard in the kitchen…

on the post in our stairway…

climbing down our picture frames…

on the books in my study…

this little fellow came all the way from Barcelona in Spain
and even on the curtains.


holding on


flex knee


determined to stick


one foot on wall

will the molecular bond

to adhere


reluctant release

of rear foot

now dedicated to

surface past


flex knee




© Jane Tims 2011

Written by jane tims

September 4, 2011 at 7:49 am

the glassed-in porch

with 2 comments

My grandfather lived in a big white farmhouse.  It had rooms and rooms, but the focus of life was the kitchen.  On rainy days, we could play there quietly. 

Sometimes we were allowed to spend the afternoon in the glassed-in porch just off the kitchen.  It was whitewashed, and had filmy white curtains and wide window ledges. 

On those ledges was a fastinating collection of knick-knacks and trinkets.  Examining these items was very entertaining although we were not really allowed to touch anything. 

I have tried to emulate this magical jumble of artifacts in my own home, but some spaces are impossible to duplicate. 

a collection on a window ledge


glassed-in porch in rain


rainy day glassed-in porch

tall windows and white step

down from the kitchen

to linoleum     wicker table    a cot

never-used porch door

at the windows, white ledges

keepsakes and trinkets

‘look but don’t touch’


big clock in the kitchen ticks

red-eared slider frantic against

the frosted sides of his bowl

rain taps at the window


irresistible urge to give the turtle

respite, lift the curtain to admire

the rain, lift the velvet lid

of the purple box, Port Maitland

iron pyrite safe inside, encourage

dippy bird to tip and drink

from the glass of water, blue tulips

and a chip in its rim

nudge the red and yellow-flocked

parrot above the cot, swing him

on his metal perch, rearrange ceramic chicks

to peck at whitewashed window ledge

focus rose bowl ruby light

on china pig, puzzle out flowers

and holes on his back, turn the bud vase over

‘where is Occupied Japan?’

pour buttons from the jar, sort

and match Meteghan sea glass, marbles

in a coffee can, take a ship with scallop shells

for sails along the sill 

trace paths of hesitant rain

droplets on glass


© Jane Tims 2011

Written by jane tims

August 31, 2011 at 7:17 am

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