In Which We Collect Just a Little More


Perhaps you remember mrpeenee’s unparalleled collection of aluminum plates, platters and other serving pieces. The fact it is unparalleled mostly because no one else is interested in what is essentially decorative debris is neither here nor there, and I do wish you would stop bringing it up.

The collection. Some of it, anyway.

.Thirty years ago, I got tired of not being able to afford any of the cool stuff in my thrift store prowlings and so I started collecting these. Mostly because they were cheap, but also because no thrift store, no matter how crappy, would fail to have at least one or two pieces.

My limit initially was that nothing could cost more than three bucks. After a while I raised that to $5, but even that allowed me to bring home so many of them eventually R man threatened to put them all out on the curb and me with them. That was probably 15 years ago and honestly, even I realized I had plenty enough. But when I moved to this apartment and mounted them all up on the wall, I wound up with a couple of odd bald spots that could use filling. And so I turned to Google to track down a few more bits.

Almost the very first result was some junk store trying to unload 13 pieces of the very finest examples of aluminum junk. That was more than I had in mind, BUT three of them were exactly the right size and two others were such interesting specimens I couldn’t pass them up so I bought the whole lot.

So here they are. The really interesting ones are the small basket with a handle and made of pierced metal and the other is a tiny silent butler.

Silent butlers. Sssh.

Silent butlers were an invention to help hostesses deal with mess on tabletops. You would rake up all the crumbs littering the cloth and dump them into your silent butler and then close the lid to keep all the garbage from flying back out. You could also empty ashtrays that way.

Also, coasters, cause aluminum coasters are so very practical. Most aluminum pieces feature very realistic botanical art, in this case, each coaster is a tiny CABBAGE. I am in love.

So there. I really am through collecting them now. Really. What few oddball spots there were are now filled and I have no more excuses for any more aluminumania. My decision has nothing to do with them being no longer easy to find or certainly easy to afford. Should the aluminum hostessware industrial complex call, tell them I’m out of the game.

Guys I’d like to collect:

What, does he charge by the pound?

11 responses »

  1. I’m not sure which collection I liked more. Bit I do adore that wall of aluminium. Such a very creative way to decorate a wall and love the new pieces.

    Bit yes the other collection. I usually do pay by the pound. I like whoppers.


  2. I do like your display of them. Here it’s production florist vases from the 20’s to the 50’s that is one of the major collection in the basement. Plaster fish in the bathroom another. Lots of other collections. Why? It seemed like a good idea at the time.


  3. I pity your maid having to buff up all that lot, she must get through a hell of a lot of Starbrite. “There’s nowt so queer as folk” as they say in Yorkshire, my mother who is not short of a bob or two collects plastic yoghurt pots “because you never know when they might come in useful” on the last visit to her house I threw out over 200 Müller yoghurt pots, she didn’t even notice.

    Man number 6. Rose Nylund had that wallpaper in her bedroom or something very much like it.


    • My father meticulously washed out cottage cheese containers, stacked them very tidily and then never used them. Lunatic.

      That bathroom does have a very Golden Girls sensability about it, although I’m sure the girls would never have let it get so grimy.


  4. Sweetie, I’ve got a pierced piece like that but with roses instead of black-eyed Susans. (Mr. P got me caught up in this madness for a while; I had to fight him at thrift stores for aluminum treasures.). I look forward to seeing your new ones (and that square silent butler is FAB)!


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