Monday, April 22, 2013

Vintage English Ham Stand

Don't ask me what caught my eye about these--and why I wanted to have one.
I guess because they are so quintessentially English.  A bone china ham stand.  At one time--in every UK grocery or butcher shop--you would see one of these--about 13 inches tall and HEAVY--sitting on a counter.  The big old leg bone of the ham would be jammed into the hole-leaving the meat sticking out the top.  The butcher could easily slice off the meat--and the piece displayed the meat attractively. (as attractive as a big old joint of meat can be)

I would see these periodically at English antiques fairs and markets.  Mine was purchased at that "Used To Be Fabulous Does Not Exist Anymore What a Pity" antiques fair in London--Alexander Palace. (the collective sigh you hear is from all American dealers who shopped there.)  Mine advertised Parnall and Sons Ltd.  West Smithfield London EC1  Then it also says Works Fishponds Bristol.
Then I also saw a vintage metal ham marker--and had to have that too.  I remember in my youth--that butchers used to have the metal prickly thing with the price of meat that actually was stuck in the meat product in the counter.  When you bought meat--they would remove the marker and take out your purchase--and stick the marker further toward the customer in the displace window in another piece of meat..  I imagine health code frowned upon metal meat prickie things being in the cabinet in the first place--let alone going from piece to piece.  But then--we all lived through it didn't we??
Next time you are in the "Who Cares About You The Customer" mega grocery store--give a quiet nod to when grocery shopping had STYLE.

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