Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Later, gator

I bought this little plate at a flea market in Healdsburg, California, ten Memorial Day weekends ago. I was in Sonoma for a fabulous and incredibly fun destination wedding. The marriage that resulted has long since unraveled (for the better for all involved—or at least for the groom, which I say as a Friend of the Groom), but I still have the plate, along with a bunch of other stuff I bought at that market, which was surprisingly awesome considering the fancy-shmancieness of Sonoma and all the well-heeled winos who vacation there.

I've mentioned my affection for anthropomorphized houses; well, anthropomorphized animals give me a similar fuzzy feeling—when they're done well. There's a lot of sheep wearing hats and owls wearing glasses out in the world; one must be picky. This totally chill alligator (or is it a crocodile? I've never gotten the difference straight and there never seems to be a small child around to answer the question when it needs answering) spoke to me. It said "Yep." Seriously, the use of speech bubbles in pottery—how often do you see that motif? This Adair person, presumably an amateur potter potting in the 1940s, rocked. And not that I had any doubt that I'd be buying this $5 plate as soon as I laid eyes on it, but when I turned it over, the name sealed the deal. Adair happens to be Lindsay's middle name, as well as a family name. He lobbied hard to pass it on to one of our daughters, but I refused on the grounds that they were already getting his last name and how much of a tool of the patriarchy did he take me for?

Still, it's a cool name, and gave me that happy kismet feeling you get now and then at a flea market—there's nothing like feeling doubly justified in buying something. I've since searched the internets high and low for evidence of this Adair person but no luck. You can't think this was the only object he/she made, right?


  1. I'm gonna guess this lady made it at some point...

    DeLee Art, a California ceramics company that was started in 1936 and lasted into the 1950s.

    Delee Art was founded by Jimmy Lee Adair Kohl, an artist and school teacher who started the company with $160 she was awarded after an auto accident.

  2. interesting--it doesn't resemble the mass-produced DeLee stuff in any way but maybe she was doing this kinda stuff on the side for fun? another mystery!


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