Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hand painted china----a DIY project for young ladies?

In my collection of glassware that has come to me from mother, grandmothers, great grands, aunts etc. etc. I have one little cup and saucer that is quite delicate and fragile.  It was apparently painted by one Mamie Williams McCleod of Tacoma, Washington who was my grandfather's niece.  She moved with her family that included mother Clara, father Frederick and sister Lena after a devastating fire of a mill at Pomme de Terre Village  in Grant County Minnesota.  Frederick had been in business with his father in law, August Schaeffer, who had come to the area in 1873 with the intention of building a large flour mill.  I have done a lot of research on the family and it appears that Frederick and Clara decided to head west and establish a new business called  the California Winery Warehouse, in Tacoma.  They apparently were quite successful attested to by the fact they lived in a grand house with extensive gardens, accumulated an impressive collection of art, Chinese artifacts and LOTS of exquisite china.  Mamie appears to have been the favorite since in pictures she is decked out in what I would describe as "over the top" fashions with hair done up in latest dos.  Meanwhile, sister Lena appears to have been the dowdy one and not much is documented of her growing up years.  Mamie also apparently married "up" and continued to live in an upper class social circle.  She was involved with charities and other activities which were mentioned favorably in news articles.  I found that her artistic talent was considered to be good enough to be included
 in several articles and books.  Now I have only the little lavender Haviland cup decorated with pansies and with a sizeable crack to remember Mamie, who lived to be 100 years old.  Wish I had other pieces to remember her by.

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