From time to time, collectors have run across Medalta items with other names written on the bottom. Just what the names signified is anyone’s guess, but I believe them to be personal additions done by a workman or perhaps even the one-time owner of the piece. The names that I have seen were handwritten and done in pencil or ink. One on the bottom of vase No. 73 read “Margaret Esplen”; another within the peak of a stetson hat ashtray said “W.H. Miller 1937”. Were these the names of the decorator, the giver of a present, or just the owner marking his item? Perhaps someone who knows will eventually let me know.
One crock that a collector in southern Alberta picked up is indeed a gem for it records the maker’s name on the bottom. For whatever reason, the maker of this 2-gallon crock, dating around 1920, crudely carved his name and address into the bottom of the crock while the clay was still fairly wet. Perhaps J.F.E. Armstong of 813B 4th St. SE, Medicine Hat, Alta., just made it for a friend or as a personal souvenir. In any case, he certainly immortalized himself and provided a collector with a very interesting and unique item.
Another item preserving a little history was a vase with the name Palliser written around the border of the bottom. Apparently, it was from the Palliser Hotel in Calgary and presumably was marked in this manner by the hotel staff.
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