09 November 2016

Lost and Found: Pear Dish

When I was a child, my parents and I camped at the state fair every year. I remember the first time that I was allowed to explore the fairgrounds on my own with my second cousin. It was a big deal to be able to visit the Midway without my parents in tow! The two of us set out with a few dollars in our pockets to spend on rides and games. If memory serves me, we won a goldfish or two and giant tissue paper flowers that year. But the best game -- or at least the one where we found the most success -- was one in which we tossed coins onto tables of glass dishes, similar to this one. If your coin landed on a dish, it was yours.

On that hot afternoon when the Midway was nearly empty, my cousin and I tossed so many coins that we each filled a brown paper grocery sack to the brim with colorful plates, cups, bowls, and assorted glass dishes. We toted those heavy bags all the way back to the camper without breaking a single dish. Although we were thrilled with our winnings, I remember my mom was not quite as excited! After all, what was she to do with such an odd collection of glassware?

Of all the dishes I won that year, the one I liked the most was a pear-shaped milk glass dish with raised fruit on it. I didn't know to call it milk glass back then. I just loved the shape of the dish and its milky white color. 

 In time, my mom successfully divested herself of all of my fine glassware at garage sales. I  eventually forgot about my dishes, except for the pear dish. So when I found myself sorting through my parents' house preparing for the auction three years ago I kept an eye out for it, hoping Mom had packed it away in a box somewhere. But I never found it and concluded that it must have been sold or broken.

Recently I stopped by our neighborhood Goodwill on the hunt for some milk glass vases. On the top shelf, pushed way to the back, I spotted a small white dish and pulled it down. To my complete surprise, it was my pear dish, looking even more beautiful than ever! On the front of the dish were the embossed fruit images I remembered so clearly.

And on the back were textured flowers, a detail I'd forgotten. As soon as I held it in my hand, I knew it was mine.

Of course, this pear dish is probably not MY pear dish...but it MIGHT be. Either way, I was thrilled to find it again as it makes my memory complete.

It turns out that this vintage dish was made by Hazel Atlas, one of my favorite glass manufacturers. Funny that I loved it back in elementary school and still love it today. Milk glass has become one of my favorite kinds of glass.
So even though I paid a few cents to win the pear dish back on the Midway, I was only too happy to pay an additional 99 cents to bring it home once again. This time to keep! :)

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