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Jan 28 2013

Cross-Country Connections: Forgotten

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in very different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Forgotten.

Heads up – Mom has a mystery that she needs help solving!

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

CCC Forgotten BrianneOne of the most ginormous and joyful tasks of getting the apartment back in order after the flood is reorganizing my books. During all of that I found this: a signature book that my mom, dad and sister gave me for our family vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. On the inside cover is “Brianne Bilyeu, Walt Disney World 1994″. The first page is filled with signatures from Mom, Dad and Erin with well wishes for a happy trip. Further in are all of the signatures that I collected from famous Disney characters: Mary Poppins, Crazy Dale, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, Brer Rabbit, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

From Erin in Takoma Park, Maryland: 

CCC Forgotten Erin

Forget going to work today. Apparently. Freezing rain means lazy government workers get to telecommute today.

From Mom in Carbondale, Illinois: 

CCC Forgotten Mom

A forgotten treasure. I have never found any one who could tell me what it is. Not even the nearly forgotten friend who gave it to me.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    Craig A. Mullenbach

    Incense burning and storing, is my guess.

  2. 2
    Emu Sam

    It looks like it has many parts in common with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inkstand .

  3. 3
    Mariah

    I was going to say that too, that it looks like an inkstand. A compartment for ink, one for nibs, one for whatever that stuff is they used to shake over letters to dry them and the front well for pens that you stick the nibs into.

  4. 4
    Paula Bilyeu

    Not bad except for the fact that the center dome is a bell. the covers sit tight on the cylinders so there was never room for a glass insert to hold ink. There is a duplicate “candle holder” in back. So while I can see the similarities with the pictures on the linked site, I don’t think we have a winner yet.

  5. 5
    lorn

    Looks to me like a dinner table set. One pot for salt, the other for pepper. A small cup up front to hold the small spoon for dishing out the salt and pepper and a bell to call the servants. Done in heavy brass and soldered together it was likely once plated in silver that has worn, been scrubbed, away. Pretty plain by some standards if it wasn’t made by some famous maker, or associated with some historic event, it isn’t worth much money. Sentimental value is likely much higher than resale.

    1. 5.1
      Paula Bilyeu

      That sounds plausible actually. I had always thought the cups were candle holders but spoons would fit there. The story behind it is what intrigued me much more than value.

    2. 5.2
      evilDoug

      That agrees with my first thoughts, except that I thought the small cup might be a candle holder. A spoon holder makes more sense, especially in view of the fact that there are two. With candles in them, grasping the bell would be difficult.
      Misc points:
      - there are two sizes of cup, which suggests a need to distinguish which is which without opening – salt & pepper
      - the ornamentation on the handle of the bell is very typical of that used on cabinet hardware such as drawer pulls; definitely not “oriental” in my view
      - the covers for the pots are quite different, suggesting one of them might have come from another set
      - no handles on the tray, perhaps suggesting it was for “personal” use, rather than a set to be passed around a table; the fact there are two (assumed) spoon holders is counter to that idea – maybe intended to sit in the centre of the table between people on opposite sides.

      Goggle Images for “salt cellar” is remarkably unhelpful.

  6. 6
    Greg Laden

    I believe this is a religious device that is used in india in hindu rituals. The bell is to give notice to a divine entity that a ritual is about to start, and the incense is used during the ritual. I think a number of different rituals use these devices.

    Note that the bell is small. For certain rituals, one does not want to make any sudden loud noises.

  7. 7
    Greg Laden

    It might well be used in Buddhist rituals as well. There is a market for these among artisans in the US and India. It is remotely possible that this is actually a Catholic item, because there is a similar ritual in the High Mass, but I’ve never seen this configuration for that purpose … the incense burner should be a Thurible which hangs on a chain. But it could be.

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