Thursday, 4 February 2010

How I discovered COMP Carol H

In December of 1959, Bill and I were married. We were settling into our first home when one day mom asked, "Honey, would you like to have those old dishes?" Astonished that she would be willing to part with them, I said, "Yes! We would love to have them!" We brought them home a week later.

The dishes fit beautifully with our growing collection of Country American furniture and accessories. I displayed what I could in a newly purchased Pine cupboard. Our house was coming together!

We also used our new "old" dishes on a daily basis, breaking an occasional piece, as our family grew. After all-- They were "just" dishes---Meant to be used!
It was sometime in the late 60's when a girlfriend of mine invited me to go with her to an Antiques Show being held at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami. It was about a two hour's drive from West Palm Beach to Miami but, since we both shared a passion for antiques, it would be worth the trip.

When we arrived, we were astonished as to its size! The building was long with two wide aisles and four booth areas stretching almost as far as the eye could see.
As we walked along, I spotted a rather large Maple cupboard filled with something very familiar to me---MY DISHES!! I was astonished! I had never seen them anywhere else before!

The dealer, a tall, distinguished, gentleman in a suit and tie, caught my amazed stare and walked over to me. I blurted out, "You have my "Quimper"! (Kwimper)I have these at home!" His look became somewhat distasteful as he corrected my pronunciation. while slowly looking me up and down, " COMP PAIR, my dear!!"

He then promptly walked away to looking to find a more astute customer!
Feeling left considerably smaller than I did on arrival but still unable to take my eyes off his "compair" I mustered enough courage to slink over and take a closer look. I slowly picked up a plate and turned it over. The price tag read $35! A cup was $25! A saucer $12!

I found myself muttering, "Oh, my God! My vase is a VAZZ!!

I could hardly contain myself on our long ride home to tell my husband, "Honey, We're sitting on a fortune!!"

When I returned home with my wonderful news, we took stock of what we had left. It was almost a full service for twelve. I kept out what I had on display which amounted to a service for four and we carefully packed the remainder. Mom was informed of what we had found and gave her blessing to sell them,

The Quimper dishes were sold several months later at auction, hopefully to someone who would enjoy them as much as we had, and we invested our new found wealth!
The photo's today are from the quimperpix archive (all rights reserved) and show how the sujet ordinaire decor was adapted and used to decorate a variety of different Quimper items.


  1. Oh My Goodness! I can't believe you were eating on the Quimper! I also can't believe you sold it! I have a tiny collection, and this posting is the first time I've seen plates like the ones I have. (I had a similar experience with the pronunciation-Apparently, I'm still saying it wrong. I've probably been embarassing myself frequently by saying "kam pair"!) Enjoyed your post. laurie

  2. Cute story, Carol. I hope we get to see what's in your collection now. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Ah HA..Carolyn! I have a similar sad story to tell of the first time I bid on a piece of Quimper on eBay! We have learned our lesson, have we not?!
    If you think there is little in Florida, you can sympathize with me here in the wilds of Arizona. Yes, there have been folks who moved here and then sold excess possessions, but the finds are few and far between. Thank goodness for the internet! Loved your tale and treaures!