Meet the Characters: The Odd, the Unique, and the Mysterious

At Past & Present Home Gallery, we are not strangers to the odd item, the unique treasure, or the completely mysterious thing-a-ma-bob that comes into our store. But it’s not too often that the above are hosted by us all at once. We would like to introduce you to three such pieces:

Antique Chopsticks and Knife Set

This recent discovery sent us hunting through jungles and learning all about the history of different geographical areas such as the Indo-China region (south-east Asia). At first, this beautifully adorned chopstick and knife set looks like it came from Japan and was most likely made during the World War II era. But good research never stops at the first assumption. Upon further study, we learned that these sets are found all throughout Asia and were used by travelers, soldiers, and even given as gifts to visitors. The exact story behind the set hosted by our store is currently not know. However, we did find an almost exact match to a set made in Indonesia.

Antique Ice Cream Slicer

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We are all familiar with the shape and function of the ice cream scoop. The half-sphere basin with the lever to push the ice cream out into our bowl or cone is almost as American as apple pie. But did you know that in the early 1900’s, ice cream came in slices and not just scoops? Around 1899, the ice cream sandwich was introduced. By 1910, a specialized ice cream scoop was invented that created square slices of ice cream to be put on the sandwiches. In the 1920’s the ice cream slice was just as popular as the scoop and was plated without its sandwich wafers and eaten with a spoon. The ice cream slicer currently hosted at Past & Present was manufactured in the 1920’s by the Automatic Cone Company.

Vintage Ceramic Coffee Filter

  Source: http://www.nia.org/notins/nons2.htm. Retreived June 9, 2017

Source: http://www.nia.org/notins/nons2.htm. Retreived June 9, 2017

This mysterious little contraption is not an electric insulator, nor the world’s heaviest baby rattle, but a ceramic coffee filter. Ceramic coffee filters were used as part of the vacuum brewing method originally invented in France in the early 1700’s. As the popularity of coffee grew, the process of filtering the coffee grounds also grew. The vacuum brewing process made a come-back in America in the early nineteenth century which is when our piece was patented. In 1945, Kent Productions Company, patented their version of the vacuum brewing machine along with a ceramic filter.

Find these treasures and so much more at Past & Present Home Gallery, the antique store with character!