by Joniece Frank
Let me introduce myself. I’m Joniece Frank, younger daughter of John and Grace Lee Frank, founders of Frankoma Pottery, Inc. Since I was the only one present with Mother and Dad when this story took place, the task was given to me to write about it.
The request for this story came from one of your GPSA members, Judy Cavestani. My sister Donna got an email not long ago from her, asking about a little Creamer she had recently bought on eBay with the hand-written inscription on the bottom, “To Honey From Honey.” The mystery for Judy was soon to be solved.
As far back as Donna and I can recall, whenever Dad did a first impression or a piece that was special in some way, he would write that inscription on the bottom, date it, sign it JNF, and give it to Mother. We don’t know exactly when this started, but we do have a Cream Pitcher in Silver Sage glaze (#91B, of which several sizes were made) with the same inscription, and the date simply reads ‘35. Apparently, that was the first prototype of that design, which made it special.
There are two other pieces in our home with “To Honey from Honey” on them, one being the first Egg Plate (#819) which sadly was broken a few years ago (we saved the pieces). The other is the first Wagon Wheel 2-qt. Pitcher in Prairie Green, and it’s intact. Surely there are others out there that we don’t know about. Judy has one of the lucky finds, even though she didn’t know what it meant. But she was the one who thought enough to ask.
Mother used her pottery and other valuable things almost every day. She was often asked, “Aren’t you afraid it might get broken?” Her reply was always, “I’d rather have the joy of using it, rather than having it just sitting in a cabinet where it isn’t useful, nor could its beauty be seen by all.”
Back to Judy’s Lazybones Cream Pitcher (Lazybones is the name of the pattern of dinnerware). I was just 15, in high school, and Donna was away at college. One afternoon I was unloading clothes from the washer to take outside to hang on the line to dry. Mother was at the sink, preparing our evening meal. I remember it as if it were yesterday.
I heard the back screen door softly squeak open and turned to see Dad looking at me with his finger to his lips, gesturing “hush.” He had that silly grin on his face that belonged only to him when he had a surprise in store. I froze so as not to spoil his secret. He tiptoed in, slipped over behind Mother, put his arm around her waist and kissed her on the cheek. Mother just smiled with her hands still in the sink scrubbing the potatoes. With his right arm around her waist, he slipped his left hand right in front of her so she could do nothing but look at the object in his hand. It was the first Lazybones Cream Pitcher, still warm from the heat of the kiln.
“Oh, honey!” said Mother as she grasped the little Pitcher and held it to her bosom. “Oh, John, honey!” she cooed, and their arms wrapped around each other in a big mutual hug. It was sort of an announcement that the Lazybones pattern was finally in production! And on the bottom it said in Dad’s printing, “To Honey from Honey” and the date of 1-30-53.
How did this little pitcher find its way to Illinois? For your information, we have always freely allowed people into our home whenever we could (the house our parents built, where Donna and I now live), as did our parents. We don’t like to think someone “stole” the little Pitcher, but I know Mother treasured it, and this is one piece she had just sitting on a shelf in the kitchen. This one she didn’t use, but rather enjoyed the sentimentality of it and all it meant to her just by its presence. We still don’t know how it got away!
When Judy emailed to ask about it, she revealed a story that was quite a shocker! At last September’s Frankoma Family Collectors Association national convention, one of the sellers had it on his table for sale. We learned later that he had bought it ten years prior at a yard sale somewhere in Nebraska. Donna and I had both glanced at it in passing, but it didn’t particularly get our attention, because today it’s not an uncommon piece. We would have jumped for joy had the seller shown it lying on its side with the inscription in plain sight. But he didn’t, and we didn’t. He had no idea what the inscription meant, and apparently no one else did, and it didn’t sell. So later he put it on eBay, and Judy’s curiosity prompted her to buy it. Then she emailed us to ask what it meant.
We made a this-for-that trade with Judy and Bill, and our special important-to-us Lazybones Creamer returned home. And this one will live the rest of its pampered life without ever holding a drop of cream! Many thanks, Judy and Bill—we’re forever grateful to you!
PLEASE NOTE: These photos can be printed for your own collection files, but are not to be used for any Internet auction listings, websites, or any other commercial purposes. The photos provided for this article are from the personal collection of the author or with permission from the owner.
Recently featured sellers in the GPSA in May were Jpthings, Lan5, roxannesebastian, and wgpaul; and in June: cranberrymanor, rose6735, roxannesebastian, shellysthings1, and the*godmother. We encourage you to click on their seller IDs and visit their eBay auctions.
by FanofFenton Sarah
Fairy Lamp Club
The Fairy Lamp Club, established 1996, is dedicated to the research and advancement of information related to Victorian and contemporary fairy lamps. It is the only Club dedicated to this specialized collectable. Their members are throughout the United States with several members from Canada, England, and Australia. The membership includes many collectors who have dedicated years—in some cases decades—to researching and collecting Victorian and contemporary fairy lamps and other candle-burning devices. They are an invaluable source of information and share their experience freely with other Club members through their contributions to the Fairy Lamp Newsletter.
by wgpaul Bill
LeVerre Glass Follow Up!
We recently did an article in this newsletter (January 2006) on Schneider LeVerre Francais glass. We thought you might like to see a few more pieces. These two vases were sold recently on eBay by seller maz000.
The blue piece sold for $2,226 and the orange one sold for $3,151. Congratulations to both the buyer and the seller of these beautiful pieces!
It happens every day! You anticipate receiving an item you won at auction. It arrives, and you open the box to see...pottery shards or slivers of glass!
Have you noticed how some auction photos just seem to scream “BUY ME!” while others are so fuzzy and far away you’re not sure what is being offered?
We share a few practical tips on photo taking and packing to help you get that item safely to your buyer! Our GPSA website offers a more in-depth look at valuable packing and photo tips. Please visit and have a look around!
Here's several packing stories gathered from some of our members. We recommend you do NOT use these methods to ship your items:
- I received a box purchased through eBay that was packed in leaves from the yard—twigs included! And I got the added free bonus of a big bug that crawled out of the box. Eeeek! But luckily the glass items were undamaged.
- Years ago I received a Roseville Sunflower vase wrapped in old blue jeans ONLY and they weren't even my size! It came undamaged also.
- I received a lacy salt wrapped in a stained but apparently clean t-shirt and a really heavy old sweater. I'd paid $5 shipping and the weight of the clothes made the seller pay $9.
- Last week I got a piece of Frankoma I've wanted for a long time. When it arrived, the box (one of those thin boxes used for electronics without the styrofoam reinforcement) was completely collasped and inside was one piece of newspaper. By some miracle the piece made it.
No reserve clearance sales, less than TWO DOLLARS!
GPSA sellers are still listing clearance items. All items start at an opening bid of $1.99 or less. Don’t miss this opportunity to pick up a bargain from one of our reliable GPSA sellers! All sellers abide by the GPSA guidelines found on our home page.
Find a bargain! Deals and Steals!
To see Shazaam listings at any time, click here. Check back often — sellers add items all the time!
We’re so happy to have you join us!!
The following eBay sellers became GPSA members in March and April 2006. As members of the GPSA, they have committed to upholding the standards of the Glass & Pottery Sellers’ Association.
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