New Ceramic Mammy String HolderBy

New Ceramic Mammy String Holder

This new 6½-inch ceramic string holder is made in America and is surprisingly good quality. It has the unusual feature of a large "pocket" in the apron for a pair of small scissors. The back is pierced for attaching hanging wires or will stand freely on a flat surface.

Although we couldn't find an exact old counterpart for a direct comparison, there are some good general rules of thumb to identify new ceramic black memorabilia. First, virtually all original decorations were cold painted over the glaze. New pieces are almost always decorated under the glaze. Many new pieces are illogical, unpractical or unsuited for the function for which they were supposedly designed. Filling holes in the bottoms of shakers, for example, are so irregular they cannot be sealed properly. Many new string holders, including this one, won't actually hold a ball of string. The back in most new string holders is too shallow to keep a ball of string from falling out. Rims in backs of old holders were much higher.

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Fig. 1 New 6½-inch shiny glaze ceramic string holder. Note the "pocket" for small pair of scissors (arrow).

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Fig. 2 Many new string holders cannot actually hold a ball of string because the back rim is too shallow. Rims on old string holders are much higher to keep the string from falling out.