Last Thursday, I received an email from my cousin, Shannon, asking me if I wanted my mother’s china.
How my cousin that I only see at funerals and sometimes we cross paths in Krogers came to have my long deceased china is a mystery but shit like that happens in the South.
I told her that I would take it off her hands and to leave it in a box on her porch. I would come by and pick it up. We’re still in a pandemic, people.
I bring home a small box that reeks of cigarette smoke. There are cloth and paper towels that are saturated with the lingering stink of my Mother’s cancer sticks. Inside, was not china plates as I was expecting but very fragile crystal glassware.
I decide to do some research and see exactly what it was I had inherited.
From the maker’s mark, the pattern, and the year I guessed my mother first received this wedding gift (1963-64), I was able to pray to the Great God Google and found out a few things:
- The glassware was made by a company called Rosenthal Porzellan.
- The pattern was called Shadow Rose.
- The company was founded in 1879 in Bavaria.
- Everything was rosy for the companyuntil the Nazis came into power and even though Rosenthal was Catholic, he was still Jewish enough to be a problem. He was forced out of his own company.
- In 1941, when the Decree on Companies of Deprived Commercial Enterprises was adopted, the “Aryan” management intervened with the help of JOSEPH GOEBBELS to continue the use of the Rosenthal brand name.
Come the 1950’s, Rosenthal’s son took over. It was during this time that the company was based in Nuremberg (yeah….that Nuremberg) and by 1997 the company was 90% owned by Water Wedgewood. Currently, the company is owned by Arcturus Group and based in Selb.
So, anyway, that’s the story of how I inherited my Mother’s Nazi stained glassware.