Last April, thehttps://sites.google.com/site/fvaccsite/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> Fraser Valley Antiques and Collectibles Club hosted their annual show at the Queen's Park Arena, in New Westminster. Ever since I found out about the show, I've tried to attend. Inevitably, this show beats out other events that interest me, mostly paid-for work conferences, however the thrill of the hunt is too difficult to resist. Since I work on Saturdays, I have to use up one of my few precious holiday dates. This year, the weather was overcast and drizzly, which made for an uncomfortable wait outside the doors.
My approach to these kinds of shows is to do a quick circuit of the venue, to see if I can spot anything quickly before it gets snapped up. It was during this initial "casing of the joint" that I found the first of two pieces that I bought that day:
The vast majority of hotelware in British Columbia seems to have been supplied by the Buscombe company, followed by the Pacific Coast Importing Company. This bowl was furnished by the Williamson Jenkins Co. of Vancouver. Steitz' Bakery and Restaurant is listed in the Victoria city directory (1891) as being at 54 Yates Street and C.C. Fox as the proprieter. I tried to do a Google maps search on the address, and found that the street number doesn't correspond to anything modern. I skipped ahead ten years, and found "Steitz Restaurant" at the same address, but a George Schmith as the proprieter. Another ten years later, and a different proprieter, H.W. Lomas. But now the address is listed as 570 Yates Street, which made me realize that I needed to add a zero to the end!
Ad from the Victoria Daily Colonist, March 20, 1891
I finally found a reference to the Steitz Restaurant on the website of the Hallmark Society
, an organization dedicated to historical preservation and knowledge of Victoria's heritage buildings. They list the Steitz Restaurant as being at the current location of 576 Yates Street
, which is the current home Yates Street Shoes.
The second piece that I found was from the Grand Hotel in Nelson, BC. Unfortunately, I've hit a bit of a brick wall with finding information about this property. This piece was furnished by the Pacific Coast Importing Co, but the mark on the reverse is smudged, so some of the additional information that I would have been able to get is now unavailable. I found this piece in a different booth, with a few other pieces. It was priced a little high for me, given the condition and the style of the top mark. The more desireable pieces are ones that have an image of the hotel itself on the piece. This one has the name of the hotel in a garter, with "Nelson B.C." inside:
I've found references to a "New Grand Hotel" that exists in Nelson, but my searches of the BC Archives hasn't been fruitful, and the archives in Nelson are not digitized, so I'm unable to search them. I hope to discover more information about this plate in the future.
I initially balked at buying this one, like I said, because of the price. But then, I figured that I had to take into account other expenses that I incur when I search for these things in the real world, and not through online auctions. Things like fuel, hotel/camping fees, and food on the road all go towards this little endeavor of mine, so if I pay ten or fifteen dollars more than I want to, I just need to remember that there are other costs associated with these finds. If anyone out there has any information, I would appreciate an email!