Reed & Barton Handled Frame

What was this used for? - PHOTO REQUIRED
Traintime
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Reed & Barton Handled Frame

Postby Traintime » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:02 am

R & B 0127-H (Oak Leaves & Acorns) items were used in the restaurants of Grand Central Terminal (GCT) of New York City. After a short time of being marked GCT, the monogram was replaced with UNC for the Union News Company which operated the sites. Thanks to internet images, we know the pattern was continued and that the creamer, sugar, and mustard exist. But what was this frame for...lemons, ice cream, seafood, soup, cubes or some forgotten element of fine dining around 1914? Was the liner glass or ceramic? Inside base is flat and volume is about a teacup.

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Traintime
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Re: Reed & Barton Handled Frame

Postby Traintime » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:55 am

A possible clue..before the station officially opened at midnight with an employee meal, a special dinner was held at 8p.m. where a Reed & Barton Sterling punch bowl was presented to a retiring railroad & station principal. High on the menu was listed Cape Cod Oyster Cocktail, possibly a standard specialty for this location. (Aside from a dining room, there was a lunch room and a cafe all under the one management...from a period article.) In contributor's notes we can see an R&B ramekin with the flat-top lobe handles, much like the other three pieces mentioned from this set previously...so I suspect we can discount this as a frame for a ceramic ramekin.

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Re: Reed & Barton Handled Frame

Postby dragonflywink » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:02 am

Actual dimensions are usually helpful, rather than a guesstimated capacity, but it's a typical form for bouillon cups and should have a china liner. Lenox supplied liners to most manufacturers - there are various size replacements available online...

~Cheryl

Traintime
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Re: Reed & Barton Handled Frame

Postby Traintime » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:11 pm

Thanks, Cheryl! Since the matching china pattern was made by Maddock Pottery Company (Lamberton Works, Trenton NJ), I contacted the foremost expert, Larry Paul, to see what he knew. [John Maddock & Sons England also made a variant of the design for Union News Company, the managers of the restaurants at GCT and more.] He said Maddock 's was able to provide (custom decorated) liners of numerous shapes at the time, but none in the pattern are known so far. He felt it was possible that Lenox may have applied a version of Oak & Acorn to their own liner (of course, we don't know what permissions may have been given--my note) for this order.
That said, perhaps there could have been a plain body with gold line or logo added, but we may never know. I've also contacted the transit museum in New York City to see if they can shed any light on this. I guess, like the Alamo, GCT has no basement, so we won't find any leftover liners there! {At least so far, we can leave out a Hall China replacement liner on this one.}

Traintime
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Re: Reed & Barton Handled Frame

Postby Traintime » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:27 pm

On page 77 of William D. Middleton's Grand Central (Golden West Books 1977), he placed a drawing from Scientific American (07 December 1912) depicting the Oyster Bar restaurant scene in the lower station areas. To the far left, next to a man's shoulder, one can see the GCT logo embedded in the original glass or metal work. Even though Union News Company appears to have staffed the operation from the start, this is a good indication that the GCT monogram pre-dated the UNC letters. [The same situation has been found on china.]

Traintime
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Re: Reed & Barton Handled Frame

Postby Traintime » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:28 am

Restoring images:

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Traintime
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Re: Reed & Barton Handled Frame

Postby Traintime » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:35 am

Bookplates showing GCT logo in terminal"s original grillwork or panes left of man depicted:

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Traintime
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Re: Reed & Barton Handled Frame

Postby Traintime » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:27 pm

Additional on The Union News Company. A butter pat and 2 0z creamer carry the 0127-H item number with the raised topmark panel on the creamer. (A smaller 1.5 oz creamer appears to be plain with no topmarks..photos were not clear as to control numbers.) Other items may include the 0158-H stamp (such as the 6oz. open sugar in following photos). Only a few items have been located on-line at this point. It would also appear that the company used a plain block-letter topmark on flatwares made by INSC International Silver and Wallco, though these might be of later origins related to a change of china patterns.

Item, open sugar, acorns & oak leaves border, badly worn (but you gotta take what can be found):

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