Thursday, 3 June 2010

N. S. & S mark, mystery solved at last?

In my previous post I blogged about how new QCI member Cary had requested help in identifying this mark N. S. & S which was on a jug that she had inherited from her grandmother.

Trisha J, who was the first guest blogger here on the QCI blog in March 2009 and is a member of the QCI Web Committee turned detective, and with the able assistance of google may well have solved the mystery after all these years.
Firstly she left two comments on that last post:
It seems that Nathan Straus and Sons owned a company that sold crockery to Macy's and they even owned Macy's at one time. so this seems possible as it matches the mark and the history of the piece.
The list above of defunct department stores in teh US is pretty comprehensive and none of the stores have the initials N.S.& S. the mystery continues.

Trisha also sent me this information that she uncovered regarding the company based in New York City in the 1800's.

Straus & Sons.
Nathan Straus & Co Marks.
L Straus & Son - New York City, New York (USA).

1869 L Straus & Sons (LS & S) was founded in New York City by Lazarus Straus in 1869, as importers of crockery. (Henderson shows Straus' first name as Lazarus and Rontgen has it as Lewis.)
1924 it became Nathan Straus & Co, and in the 1930's it closed.
In 1874 Nathan Straus (Lazarus' son) convinced the company RH Macy to permit the Straus firm to have a small glass & chinaware department in their store.

The first china and glassware to be sold by Macy's.
The company made and imported porcelain and glassware from Europe including England, France, Germany, and Czechoslovakia (then Austria).
L Straus & Sons had factories or offices in London, Paris, Limoges, Rudolstadt, Kamenicky Senov, and Karlovy Vary.
The Karlovy Vary operation was a porcelain factory in Stará Role (Altrohlau, Bohemia, Austria) and Kamenický Šenov was a glass factory.
LS & S purchased porcelain from several European factories including Moritz Zdekhauer in Stará Role (Altrohlau).
LS & S had a decorating studio in Limoges, France.
LS & S claims it invented the condensed milk or marmalade jar.
Additionally it was a financial backer for Oscar & Edgar Gutherz's factory in Stará Role (Altrohlau).

Isn't amazing what you can discover just by "googling" some words?

So, it seems that the oral history that accompanied Cary's piece is probably correct.
Grandma did purchase her little jug at Macy's and even though it doesn't bear the Macy's star mark it most likely came from that store.
Well done Trisha, and thank you on behalf of Cary & Quimpernuts everywhere, who always enjoy learning more of the fascinating history of Quimper pottery.


  1. BRAVO for Trisha, good detective work!

  2. I have an antique pitcher & basin which has the
    following marking on the bottom:

    R N 64183

    Please note the R and N have markings next to each
    of them (where an apostrophe would be). If you can be of any help, I would genuinely appreciate it. My email is
    Thank you, in advance.

  3. Hi. I recently came across 77 +/- pieces of the HB Quimper Soleil yellow, most of it used and wondered if you could lead me to a collector who might be interested in purchasing it.... It's too great a lot to try and sell on ebay and I figure there must be a true lover of Quimper in the world.... which is how I came across your blog. Perhaps I need to meet one of your "Quimpernuts"! :)