Thursday, March 7, 2013

Shepherd's Pie and an Antique Chocolate Pot

Last night's supper was Shepherd's Pie - a comfort food that my family thoroughly enjoys. Shepherd's Pie originated in England, but was adopted by the Irish people many years ago. It's a staple of Irish traditional cooking thanks to the trusty potato which was adopted by Ireland as a food crop in 1780.  Shepherd's Pie is good anytime, but it's especially appropriate at this time of year with St. Patrick's Day approaching.  

Our tea was Promise Tea, and the flavor was Apple Cobbler [a black tea] from Cracker Barrel. Inspiring Gaither lyrics are on each tea bag tag.   

In yesterday's blog I shared a porcelain shamrock trio that belonged to my mom.  Today I'm sharing a chocolate pot that belonged to my maternal great-grandmother.  It's the oldest family heirloom I own, and it's definitely a treasure to me.  Isn't it beautiful? 

The backstamp.

Research revealed the Wheeling Pottery Company organized in 1879 in Wheeling, West Virginia.  In 1887 it formed a second company called La Belle Pottery Company.  In 1903 Wheeling Potteries combined Wheeling, La Belle, Riverside Pottery, and Avon Potteries [of Tiltonsville, Ohio].  The factories continued making their semi-porcelain, art ware, utilitarian pieces and sanitary ware.  In 1909 the name was changed to Wheeling Sanitary Manufacturing Company when the company went into receivership and was reorganized to make sanitary ware [sinks/wash basins, water closets, and other bathroom fixtures].

The chocolate pot dates between 1887 and 1909, making it at least 104 years old.  I can't believe it survived all these years, since there were 12 children in the family.  Then it was passed to my grandmother, who had seven children. My grandmother passed it to my mother, and she passed it to me when she moved to her assisted living apartment.

The photo below shows my maternal great-grandparents, Joseph and Amelia, and their 12 children. They were married in 1880. [My great-grandparents are in the second row, center.] My grandmother, Lucy, was the fifth child.  She is in the top row, third from the left. 

Below is a photo of my mother's family.  My maternal grandparents, Daniel and Lucy are in the center, surrounded by their seven children.  They were married in 1918. My mother was the third child, and she is in the top row, far right.

I don't know how my mom happened to be the one who was given the chocolate pot, but I'm glad she was! ;-)
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Today I'm linking to Rose Chintz Cottage for "Home"
Antiques & Teacups for "Thursday Tea Things and Talk"


  1. Oh my - TREASURE is right - this is magnificent!

  2. That chocolate pot is beautiful, and so very special because you know its history! I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your mother's family.

  3. Dear Phyllis,
    The chocolate pot is indeed very beautiful. A family treasure.
    Love Shepard's Pie. Good comfort food.
    Also love your last post with all of the stories and Shamrock china and pix. I would love to make a collection of different ones too like you have and Michele of Nest at Finch Rest.

  4. Shepherd's Pie is a staple around here...great for using up leftovers! Hadn't thought of it as being Irish, as a Brit family, we always claimed it! LOL! Love the chocolate pot. What a wonderful and treasured heirloom. So glad you have it and the family photos. Thanks for linking to Thursday Tea Things and talk.

  5. Your chocolate pot is so pretty! Mmmmm, I love shepherds pie and actually had some for dinner last night. Our book club went to an Irish pub for dinner and that is what I ordered. My best friend ordered the same thing and then turned to me and said "I hope it's as good as the shepherds pie you make.". Awww, that was sweet.

  6. Ohhhh, I'm glad your mom inherited the chocolate pot too! And it is gorgeous, Phyllis! That's *amazing* to me that you truly know the provenance of this piece, and that it's stood the test of time and been in your family so long. I'd say you were meant to have it!

  7. A wonderful treasure, Phyllis, and so pretty! How lovely that you have it. I like Shepherd's Pie too. Thanks for sharing.



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