Friday, May 26, 2006


So I was in this antiques shop yesterday. An old, dirty, overcrowded place in a town to which nobody ever goes, very far from any towns where there are people with lots of money to spend on antiques. Those are the best kind cause they offer good finds at reasonable prices. And being my birthday today, and knowing that the only gift I was getting I already got (dining room hutch), there was no question as to the legitamacy of treating myself as soon as I saw this:

This is a cast-iron bottle opener that you mount on a wall. My great-grandmother (Gran-nan) had this exact thing on the wall leading from the kitchen to the dining room. I stared at it as a little kid in a high-chair and when I was a little older I opened my glass bottles of Coke (which she always had) with great trepidation, as this thing scared the crap out of me. It is creepy with a capital C. I walked wide around it through the doorway, always keeping an eye on it.

When she went into a assisted care facility and the house was sold, I was very sorry that this was not saved. Out of all of the things taken to auction, this was what I regretted most. Since then (about 1985), out of all the time I have spent in junk stores, garage sales, antique stores, and auctions, I have seen this only once before. In college, I went to a junk shop in Strasburg, PA and saw it in a glass case. The price was 95$ and it said "rare" on it. There was no way, even if I would have had 95$, that I was going to pay that. So when I saw it for $35, it was a bargain. On the back, it is marked Wilton, which I guess is Wilton-Armetale, which is made in Mount Joy, about 3 miles from where I live now. Anyway, I got it out last night to show my husband, propping it up on the workbench in the garage. He said it was scary. I said, I know, and smiled a big smile and shivered a little. Neither of us could take our eyes off it for the longest time. I love it.


Blogger Liz said...

That has got to be one of the ugliest things I've ever seen. I think its fabulous that you love it so much. :)

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Pennie said...

Isn't great when we find old things with such a history in our lives?! It's like this huge rush when you find it at such a great price too.
Do you think he'll ever go in your house?! He is a scary guy!!

8:41 AM  
Blogger shannon said...

Happy birthday! We had a scary as anything door knocker - this fox that glared at you growing up - and when E and I saw an equally scary old brass carp door knocker (lng before we had a house) we snatched it up. It now besides over the front door of our farm - luckily we don't have to look at its scary face too often. :)

11:09 AM  
Blogger Susie Sunshine said...

I've seen that thing.......somewhere.
It's so cool when you find exactly what you've been looking for!

7:33 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I think it will go in the house. Probably in the kitchen. There isn't much of a call for bottle openers these days. I will have to stock up on those little Cokes in bottles and some beer that isn't twist off just so I can use it and give myself the heebie-jeebies occasionally.

8:40 AM  
Blogger EFB said...

it is scary! do you think it has two sets of eyes to depict people when they are drunk? since it is a bottle opener people use it for beer, no?

10:19 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I think it dates from the early 1900s, and back then everything was bottle-capped, not just beer. But maybe you are right about the 4 eyes thing. Maybe it is the earliest depiction of beer-goggles. haha.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

You'll need to start brewing your own beer so you can use that thing to pop the tops off.

5:01 PM  

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