What Is It? June 2017


This beautiful 2-piece, hand wrought aluminum object is a “crumb catcher.” It is marked “Continental” Chrysanthemum pattern. Aluminum items of every sort from tableware to jewelry were made by dozens of companies from the early 20th century into the 1940s. A decade ago aluminum became a popular collectible and prices were high for quality pieces.

   We had many readers who correctly identified our June What Is It. Judy Hess of Greeley, Colorado; Jacque Rutledge of Tyler Hill, Pennsylvania; Nancy Richards of Littleton, Colorado; Marjorie McLaren of Anchorage, Alaska; Carol Klomp of Boulder, Colorado; Terry Cook, Fort Morgan, Colorado; Charles Pheasant, Centennial, Colorado (Charles also called it a silent butler.); Elizabeth B. Puls of Boulder, Colorado (Elizabeth agrees with Charles about calling it a silent butler and adds, “They were used in refined homes or hotels both in Europe (and England) early then later in America. When tablecloths had crumbs spilled on them but were not too soiled as to warrant complete changeover or laundering, servants (or later housewives themselves) would sweep the crumbs off the tablecloth, leaving it tidy for the next meal”; Teresa Cobb, Cawker City, Kansas; Carolyn Kundel, Roland, Iowa; Vicky Killen of Castle Pines, Colorado (Vicky tells us seeing the crumb catcher brought back memories: “My parents received one as a wedding present in the early 30s. Yours looks a bit newer. I remember my mother combing the crumbs into the tray from the white tablecloth at Sunday dinner (the only day we ate in the dining room). I have the set now. It was made in Japan with a repousse surface showing 2 Dutch men drinking at an outdoor table and another man standing with a bottle”); Ann Abbott, Denver, Colorado; Joyce Fuller, Littleton, Colorado; and, Jerome McLaren of Conifer, Colorado.

   Congratulations, everyone, you have won a year’s subscription to the Mountain States Collector. We sure enjoyed hearing from you!

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