When I was on my recent blogging break, vacationing in Florida, I received an E-mail from my good friend, Angela, at Tea With Friends blog. She knows about my Hudson's Department Store passion, particularly pertaining to the Mezzanine Tea Room, and she wanted me to know there was a listing on E-bay for four platters from the tea room.
I immediately contacted the seller to inquire about them, and received a reply saying they were purchased at the estate sale of a 90 year old lady in Ann Arbor, MI, and the deceased lady's son said they came from Hudson's Mezzanine Tea Room.
At Restaurant Ware Collector's website I discovered that the dishes, made by Syracuse China, appeared in a 1946 Syracuse China catalog, accompanied by a photo of tables set with the dishes taken in the J.L. Hudson tea room, validating the estate sale claim. So I placed an opening bid of $24.95. Since we were traveling home when the auction ended, I had no way of placing any counter bids, or knowing whether I had won until the auction was over. Imagine my excitement when I went online in our hotel room, and found out that no one had bid against me, and the platters were mine!
Once home, my research continued. Syracuse China sold to Libbey Glass in Toledo, Ohio in 2009, but they gave all their archives to the Onondaga Historical Society. On July 2nd I e-mailed the Society to see if they had the 1946 catalog, and if I could get a copy of the tea room photo that's in the catalog.
A research specialist contacted me saying there's a $30 an hour charge to look for information, plus the cost of the photo, if they're able to find it. I mailed my check, and am
patiently waiting for their response. IF I obtain the photograph, it will be the only one of the tea room I have been able to locate as Target Headquarters [owner of Hudson's archives] have none.
Obtaining this photo will be a huge asset to the cookbook project. I'll definitely let you know the outcome. I'm so grateful to Angela for letting me know about the e-bay auction. Tea friends are the best!