Thursday, March 27, 2014

Touring Lexington with tea friends

While on the way to our lunchtime tea at Greentree Antiques & Tearoom last week, the tea friends stopped at Thoroughbred Park in Lexington to take photos of the horse sculptures. Aren't these great? I've long admired how sculptors are able to convey movement in a stationary object.

Here my friend Maureen and I are with some of the statues.

Thanks to Linda we also got to make a quick trip to the Kentucky Horse Park. She then drove us through Thoroughbred country, and yes, I think I'd be perfectly happy living in any of those magnificent barns. They were amazing, and it has definitely changed how I think about Kentucky and horse racing. We barely had time to see the Horse Park, though, because we were so busy antiquing after lunch!

I believe I'm one of the few who didn't come home with a teapot, but I did find this beautiful tray and the mystery spoons I mentioned last Friday. The 9-1/2 x 7-1/2-inch china tray with pink roses, just $6, was one of the prettiest things I've seen in a while, and I love how those intricate edges are all in perfect condition after all these years. There's no backstamp, so I have no idea who made it. I'm going to use it to hold a sugar and creamer in a similar rose pattern.

Also at that antique mall, I saw a piece of furniture, I guess you'd call it, that I have never seen before, and I was just enchanted. Do you know what this is?

What if I show you the interior here? Now can you guess? My new friend Lori and I had a lot of fun examining this piece, which was probably about 4-1/2 feet tall or so.

An old ribbon dispenser! Who knew!

Also, I thought I'd give you an update on the mystery of the spoons I first blogged about here. Since I've had several people wonder if perhaps these were serving pieces, it dawned on me I should have mentioned the dimensions. Each spoon is just 6-1/4 inches long, with the widest part of the "bowl" (for lack of any other term) measuring about 1-1/4 inches wide. In other words, these are just normal spoon size, not large enough for serving anything.

Here's the set of four as they were tied together when I bought them, and this way you can see the curve of the bowl.

Here's the backstamp. If only it showed the patent number!

And this will hopefully show you the design of the slits, which are at an angle for some reason. Such a mystery!

I got some great information on spoons from The Sage Book Whisperer, who noted the curvature of the spoon would make it sit nicely on the edge of a glass (as it does here) for drinking Absinthe. Yet when I looked at Absinthe spoons online, I don't see that little scalloped design at the upper left of my spoon. Surely it had a purpose? At any rate, if you want to see some amazing spoons, please pop over to The Sage Book Whisperer's post here. Nancy had suggested perhaps this was a spoon for buttering corn on the cob, and I indeed found such a vintage implement on eBay (go here to see it, at least for the next four days), but the design's not the same as mine. My husband admitted that he was bored the other night and searched every type of spoon he could think of on the internet, yet he can't find what these are either. The search continues, and if I find a definitive answer about what these are, you can bet I'll let you know!


  1. The mysteries of oldie pieces. I never found out what my pink depression glass item is used for either.
    I thought the tall wooden thing was a personal sauna of some sort, but my, that held a lot of ribbon.
    I should take a photo of both our mysteries to the local antique barn to see if anyone can help.

  2. My father told me his father used to put a cube of sugar between his teeth to drink his tea. Grandfather was born in the late 1800s and came from Russia. I wonder if the spoons were to hold a sugar cube while tea is poured over it?

  3. The horse sculptures are amazing. The tray you found is darling, and what a great price! The ribbon dispenser is quite a curiosity, I have never seen one like that. And the spoons are still a mystery! The fact that they fit so well over a cup or glass is probably a good clue. Research and speculation continue!

  4. Oh how I would have loved to have that ribbon dispenser when I had my florist! A couple of years ago, we saw a similarly shaped piece at an antique store in Hamilton, GA. However, it had drawers. Tiny little drawers that had once held nuts and bolts in an old store. I can't remember the price. However, we were on the motorcycle that day and I don't think we could have managed to get it home!

  5. My first thought was absinthe, as well, for I was captivated by the thought and the ceremony of it when I was about twelve, delving into my parents' bookshelves, and entirely entranced by DINNER AT ANTOINE'S.

    I can see the entire preparation with the contours of that spoon, the fitting over the elegant glass, the clear green pour into the special little well at the bottom, then the stream of water over the sugar cube, melting the shape and clouding the green into a hazy dream.

    Even the point and the shape seem made for stirring in the bottom of that mysterious special glass. And the curve like a little hammock to fit over the glass is cunning, as well.

    What a charming mystery you've found!


  6. Oh horses and antiques, how fun! Love the tray, it is just perfect for tea time. Now I am wondering again on those utensils, curious!

  7. Oh, you DID go to the Horse Park!!!!!! Yay! Those spoons are a real mystery! Maybe they are one of a kind? But with the patent pending, I wouldn't think so.

  8. Bargain hunting yet again! I love that precious little tray and can't wait to see how you use it!

  9. Angela, Thank you for the post card. What a wonderful surprise. I never dreamed I would have been thought of during the week. It made my day.



  10. Your photo at Thoroughbred Park looks like you are standing on the track during a race at Keeneland. Let us know when you find out how the utensils were meant to be used.

  11. Now how did I miss seeing that ribbon dispense?? I must have been up at the cash register excitedly paying for the teapot that you spotted for me! What a wonderful day packed full of fun activities!

  12. Love the horse sculptures and also your photo with them. I just love your posts and what I learn every day from you. I asked a friend about those spoons, and she knows a lot about vintage and antique pieces. She did not know either. This is a very interesting mystery. Blessings

  13. I love that your husband is trying to figure the spoons out, too. I am watching Pawn Stars on TV and the thought came to me that maybe they would know. There is also the program with the 2 younger men from LeClaire, iowa. I cannot think of the name of the show at the moment (senior moment), however, I bet if you or your husband sent a picture of the spoon to these people, they will know or find out about the mystery spoons,.

  14. Here is what a friend came up with for the mystery spoons:

    I think it looks like something to put over a cup of tea then squeeze a lemon wedge and the spoon catches the seeds

  15. If you haven't already checked with Replacements ( you might want to do that. They have a wealth of knowledge on silverware as well as china, etc. Just don't look through their inventory. Dangerous with a capital 'D'!

  16. What fun you had and such great photos of the festivities.

    The GREAT SPOON MYSTERY continues!

  17. Email Replacements Ltd about the spoons. They seem to know everything about dishes and utensils.

  18. My SIL has a set of 4 - identical to yours including the patent pending mark. Found your blog looking for the answer to her mystery spoons!

  19. Hi Angela,
    I came across your site trying to figure out my similar spoons...mine have patent no. 3,005,225 on them and I came across this: Looks like they are to apply butter on corn on the cob. However, I like the tea idea and the absinthe idea much better! Great website by the way!
    Michelle B.
    Offbeat Avenue on Etsy


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