Granny's jar

Contributed by caroline kerley

Granny's jar

Image 1 of 2

Granny was chief parlourmaid to the gentry in Bath. She saved all broken crockery. When she married she found a large jar in the attic of the Seven Stars pub in Timsbury nr. Bath where her husband was landlord, and stuck all the pieces on it . It fascinates children and adults alike as there is so much to see and a great deal of history of the period and earlier can be gleaned from the fragments.To me it is more than just a family object, as it shows how so many young women went into service and got a glimpse of a different way of life. My granny valued and kept the china even though it was broken as it represented the fine things she enjoyed handling, but could never hope to possess. Granny spoke of the doings of what she called 'the gentry' in tones of reverence.To me it is a way of life and attitude that has gone for ever.There are also fragments from china designed to commemorate historical events.

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  • 1. At 17:57 on 8 July 2010, tim s wrote:

    I think it was a nice romantic idea this lady had about granny mullins , but really potocomania was a Victorian /Edwardian fashion and many of these objects turn up in junk shops. I am interested in buying the furniture covered in 'shards' they look really good, but mostly you will find stick stands covered in these shards.Sorry to disappoint you...nice idea though!

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  • 2. At 12:13 on 9 July 2010, JWils wrote:

    Surely tim s is missing the point. Although there might have been a fashion for making pottery mosaics what Caroline Kerley has shared with us is an insight into how her Gran in particular felt about the precious pottery shards she used and her connection to them as a girl in service. It is to her credit that she adapted a fad for making mosaics, which linked to her personal story and the social history of her day, as well as creating a touching memento for her family, and now we can all enjoy her jar too through this website. How individuals fit with the bigger picture of history, and the fashion and trends of their time is part of what this series is showing us.

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  • 3. At 19:05 on 10 July 2010, caroline kerley wrote:

    I was aware that this was a fashion of the time, but I still think that it had a special significance for my Granny, who lived with us until she died when I was 16. I knew her well and sheb often used to talk of her hard work in service, but without a trace of resentment.I think she actually worked harder as a farmer's wife when my grandfather sold the pub and became a farmer.If you read Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie, in the Chapter 'Mother' , he describes how his mother used to by cracked and chipped china as the only way she could own beautiful cups and saucers.

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Timsbury, nr Bath


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