The Neumann Collection


Railroad Sauce Boat, and Restaurant Plates

Posted by neumann32044 on February 24, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Near the end of last year, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to take a week long class in Nanaimo as part of my union education.  I decided to take the opportunity to drive down to Victoria to spend a few days visiting some of my favourite stores and museums.  Since it was also one of the few times I ever have a car with me when I'm on the island, it made it much easier to get around.

After my week in Nanaimo, and the slow drive to Victoria (stopping along the way to visit some antique and thrift shops), I found myself in Oak Bay at a consignment store.  Sitting up on a shelf was a CNR sauce boat!  This is an interesting find, and only $12!  Its notable because this was a pattern that is called "Algonquin" and was used first with the Canadian Northern Railway, and then the Canadian National Railway which was formed after the bankrupt Canadian Northern was nationalized by the Canadian government in 1918, and ordered to manage the federally owned Canadian Government Railways.  Canadian Northern officially ceased to exist in 1923, when Canadian Northern and Canadian Government were formally merged into the Canadian National Railway.  I also own an individual sauce boat of this pattern made by Limoges that I can positively attribute to the company during the Canadian Northern days, but this sauce boat doesn't have a date mark, and the manufacturers mark was used for a long period of time, making a specific date impossible to determine at this time.

Finds from Victoria in late November, 2013.  The sauce boat is railroad, the oyster logo
plate is readily identified, but the EH plate is still a mystery.

I found the two plates at the same silver shop on Fort Street in downtown Victoria.  I was surprised and delighted because while I already had a soup plate of the same pattern as the Levy's Restaurant plate, the EH plate was a new one for my collection.  I knew of the pattern before, as I had seen it in the collection of the Royal BC Museum, and I know definitively that its a BC piece because of the Frederick Buscombe mark on the reverse, but its positive identification has so far eluded me.  The date mark was marred during the manufacturing process, and all I know is that it was made during the reign of King George V (1910 - 1936).  I thought it could be from the Hotel Europe in Vancouver, and it was suggested to me that it could be from the Hotel Empress (downtown Vancouver, not the one in Victoria) but hard evidence hasn't been located yet.  I'll keep searching, but if anyone has proof of where it was used, please let me know!

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