Thank you for finding That Old House amidst the chaos of the Internet. We are delighted that you are here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

So, How Does YOUR Mind Work?

This is the antique pottery version of a Rohrschach test. 
Think of this piece of old china as an ink blot.  Quick!  Read the word.
Don't think about it -- what springs to your mind?

If you are like me, you read "Zucker" and think, "Sugar."   I took 5 years of German in school.
If you are like my Mother, you see "Zucker," but you think something else entirely. 
Something that doesn't begin with a "Z" or an "S."
My mother didn't study German and, more importantly, she loved a good naughty laugh.
That's all I'm saying.

Full disclosure: it says Zucker, in Old German type.  I took German so long ago,
that some of our material was printed in the old style, and we had to learn it.  It means Sugar.

I fell in love with antiques when I was very young,
and bought this old canister at a Long Island antiques shop while I was still in my teens.
It must have been very cheap for me to afford it!

When my Mom saw it, she burst out laughing and said,
"You aren't really going to put that out in public, are you?"

I didn't understand why she was so amused.  Being my Mom, she explained.
I held my ground; it was Zucker, and that was that.

It's lived in my kitchens, all 7 of them.

That's the Grandma Cake I made for my Dad on Sunday.  A big hit.

 When my kids got old enough to read, I tucked the Zucker side to the back.
What if they took after my mother -- who had never stopped teasing me about it?

It sits on the hutch in my kitchen now, Zucker proudly facing outward for all the world to see.

I took it down today to take pictures in the sunroom, where the light is good even on a rainy day like today,
and every little blemish and dirt pimple shows on the canister.  Real life.

I am not sure where it is from, although it's probably from Germany, maybe Austria.
Underneath, the mark is pressed into the pottery.  There are numbers and a beehive.  Any clues?

Oops. Wait. That may be upside down.  That beehive may be a shield.  :-P

Hey! That works better.  Looks like 3854 and a shield.
I have absolutely no idea what that means.

That's my Mom's old mortar and pestle.  It has been well used and smells faintly of cardamom.

I still like this old bit of kitchenware, and it makes me think of my mother whenever I look at it.
I miss her teasing me about it.

It's a rainy, rainy Monday in New Jersey.  But the linky parties brighten up the day!  -- Cass

At Smiling Sally, it's Blue Monday.  Click here!

 At Little Red House, it's Mosaic Monday.  Click here!
 At The House In The Roses, it's Show Off Your Cottage Monday.  Click here!
 And at Southern Hospitality, Today's Thrifty Treasues are featured on Mondays.  Click here!


  1. I read it with a "B."

    Happy Blue Monday, Cass!

  2. Guess I'm like your mother.
    I would train myself to read it with a B, though, and keep it on display if it were mine. Yes, I know it's a Z, but I see a B first.

  3. To me it looks like "Burker" because the third letter and the last look the same. But I read it "Buckner" because that is the name of a tiny town outside the suburbs of Kansas City.

  4. Looks like Burker to me too. Happy Blue Monday.

  5. I totally thought that was a "B". But I thought something else entirely like your mom - ha! :)

  6. I thought it was Burker...this really is a psychological test!! I can see why you bought it back then, the windmill is cute.

    Happy Blue Monday!


  7. I also thought Burker. Have you googled different spellings?
    Enjoy your week.

  8. How funny! I read it with an maiden name is Rucker.

  9. I remember seeing this canister in the kitchen my childhood . . . but I don't remember the written side of it ever facing outward!

    and when I did see the writing, I don't know that I took after my grandma, either ;)

    - your California daughter

  10. Good day Cass, girl I think your set is Delft from Holland or Netherlands...Great piece and I seen a B...Hope all is well in your world my friend...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  11. To My California Daughter, two comments up --- you may not have seen what your Grandma Muttie saw, but you know her mind! She was, as MY Grandma would have said, "the dickens!"
    Love, Mama
    PS Not many people are seeing what my mom saw! It wasn't just me.

  12. My first thought was a B until you brought up other possible ways to look at it. That is beautiful. It is a very pretty piece. Love the windmill.

  13. Looks like a Z to me. Those are wonderful pieces.What fun to guess and research. Enjoy!


  14. I don't think it is a Delft piece as I have a few but these are not the markings.

  15. I think your mother and I have very warped minds :-) Your post did give me a chuckle though at the end of a long day at work - for this I am bhankful or fhankful LOL

  16. I am going to change my guess to Bucker. I looked at it again and the letter after the u is not exactly like the last letter.

  17. Oh yes, your mom represents many of us who have a bit of a naughty outlook! :)

  18. Okay I read it as Bucker. I don't get the Z but maybe that is how pronounce it.

  19. Yes, I also read it as Bucker. But, it is certainly a lovely cannister. Hope you had a great rainy day!

  20. I thought it said "Burker"! I think your mom sounds like a fun lady.

  21. My mind is way different -- I thought it was a "B" at first! I see you have pictures of Indies in your post -- my post today links to yours because of "our" china!

  22. It's so pretty, and having lived twice in Germany I read Zucker the first time....but it makes for a great story!

  23. Yeah, I thought it was a "B", too. Love the story, though. Your mom sounds like she was quite a character. :)

    There are loads of blue and white at Second Chance. Have you gone yet?

  24. I definately read it with a B - and I think that it is a lovely piece. A rainy Tuesday is a little better than a rainy Monday...

  25. I thought it said Burker. I think it is lovely.
    Mama Bear

  26. Oh, I love it! I don't care what it says. :)
    I am a big fan of dishes with words on them. If it's an antique, all the better. Your kitchen cupboard is gorgeous and I always hope to get another peak at it in your posts. I'm jealous. Loved the post, Cass. Hugs, Deb =^..^=x5

  27. OK, I saw Bucker and it took me most of the post to appreciate and chuckle at what your mother saw! Guess I'm not as worldly as I thought! Thanks for the story, Cass, and allowing us to join with you in a happy memory of your mom...rainy days can be sad, glad the bloggy world brings a smile. I always love the way you tell a story :-)

  28. We share the same love of old, blue and white, and things that remind us of loved ones.


Thank you for visiting That Old House; it's always exciting to find new comments -- they are treasured! Because of increasing spam, I have reluctantly eliminated "Anonymous" commenting. Legitimate anonymous commenters, please forgive me! You might try using "Open ID" instead. Blogger's spam software worked for a good long time, but, sadly, no longer.