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fouled anchor jolly roger
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This Web Page Provides Photographs and Information on Nautical or Non-Nautical Yet Related

Just Strangely Odd, Miscellaneous, Unidentified, Unusual, Uncategorized yet Historically Interesting or Just Significantly Kewl China, Dinnerware and Tableware. In some respects this may be the most interesting and profound page of the entire Pirate's Lair website, as such it is The Pirate's pleasure to embed "La Mer" into the page so turn up the speakers!

fbi dinner plate sample 5-15-86

fbi topmark or crest
Above photo's show the inspection and approval sample of the proposed FBI dinner plate produced by Shenango China in 1986. This is a signifcant piece not only because it was a first proof for the FBI Dinnerware but it also illustrates the unique bottom stamp Shenango used for sample firings.

fbi dinner plate sample 5-15-86 fbi plate bottom mark Shenango China

Above left photo shows the FBI plate's inspection and sample sticker taped onto the plate dated sticker May 15, 1986.

Above right photo shows the Shenango China manufacturer's bottom mark which was used between 1979 and 1987. The date code of BD-44 in it's entirety is not representative of the date codes used by Shenango during this period. However the -44 does represent the year 1986, and possibly the BD represents "Bin D" as seen on the taped sticker as a sample firing for customer evaluation (as opposed to a full production run).

entwined dolphin and anchor

entwined dolphin and anchor topmark

entwined dolphin and anchor Wright, Tyndale & Van Roden, Philadelphia Warwick China

entwined dolphin and anchor

entwined dolphin and anchor topmark

entwined dolphin and anchor Wright, Tyndale & Van Roden, Philadelphia Warwick China

entwined dolphin and anchor Wright, Tyndale & Van Roden, Philadelphia Warwick China

The above plate and platter with the same pattern anchor and entwined dolphin topmark has not yet been identified to the specific organization or individual for which it was originally commissioned or produced for. It certainly is part of a larger collection of dinnerware and not just a one-off novelty or commemorative, and we have not seen another one like it.

Price for Dish: $185.
Price for Platter: $225.

The bottom mark of "Wright, Dale & Van Roden, Philadelphia, Pa Warwick China" represents the firm of Wright, Tynale, & Van Roden which was founded in 1818 and went out of business in 1928. They were a relatively famous and noted designer, retailer, importer, and distributor of fine china, dinnerware and tableware for organizations, hotels, railroads, and chains. They contracted out to pottery manufacturer's to actually produce their work, such as Warick China. Warwick China used the particular mark shown on this plate between 1912 and 1920 which helps to date this plate as early 20th century.

However, the first recorded use of the anchor and dolphin mark was by the famous printer Aldus Manutius and his The Aldine Press in 1499! The graceful Anchor and Dolphin design, perhaps the most famous of all printer's marks or colophons, first appeared as an illustration in the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, the first edition of which was published in December 1499.

Aldus Manutius of the Aldine Press formally and officially adopted the logo as his Company's printer mark in January 1501 in the second volume of "Poetae Christiani veteres", and subsequently used it in at least 19 versions. Click Here for Information and Illustrations of the Aldus Anchor and Dolphin Mark.

Secular Representation: The anchor and dolphin device that became so famous in Aldus's own lifetime is still being used today to symbolize elegance and quality. The dolphin represents speed, the anchor, stability. Together they represent the famous proverb "festina lente" (hasten slowly)--in other words, work quickly but carefully, a motto which typified Aldus's work. While this secular interpretation may be true it did not come from Aldus himself as he left the reasoning and interpretation behind his logo both unsaid and enigmatic.

Religious Representation: Aldus was also a devout Christian believer and this combined with his decision to make the entwined anchor-dolphin his official mark in the second volume of "Poetae Christiani veteres" would possibly lead one to believe that the true meaning was of a more spiritual or religious interpretation, rather than a more secular one. It was through Aldus Prining begininning in the very late 15th century and early 16th centuries that the ability to mass produce books which made them available to the common man, such works as The Bible, The Divine Comedy, later works such as Paradise Lost, etc etc. Would it stand to reason then that this could be viewed as a divine, inspired moment in man's history?

In Christian Archeaology: the image or representation of a dolphin has traditionally constituted an emblem of love, diligence, and swiftness. It was frequently introduced in architectural sculpture, etc., or worn as an ornament by the early Christians. It was often represented entwined about an anchor, possibly a dual representation of the anchor and dolphin's use and ability that they both are able to "enter the deep and come back to the light".

The anchor by itself is used to typify a unique steadfastness in that it's utilization is to hold ships in place during rough seas and weather. Without an appropriate and steadfast anchor a ship would surely be lost, and that the crew needed to hope and trust in the anchor's ability to save them in perilous times. In many cases an anchor is also shown with a length of rope or chain twisted around it, because an anchor without a sturdy rope or chain is useless.

Also, in Christian terms and in biblical scripture the "deep or depths" (of a sea) is often referred to as hell, a soul to be in the deep or depths of despair; not being in God's sight, lacking in God's love and light. For the Christian believer the entwined dolphin and anchor could symbolize a recognition of complete hope and trust in God's love and charity to retrieve us from the depths of the deep (a hell of utter despair) and to raise or bring us safely back again to His sight and light.

I myself believe that this was Adlus' true meaning of his enigmatic entwined anchor-dolphin mark which he put on all of his books starting in 1502, and he gave us a hint of this true meaning by formally using the mark in the printing of "Poetae Christiani veteres".

de profundis, from the depths of despair de profundis, from the depths of despair monogram
The above tablespoon with its fouled anchor monogram entitled "De Profundis" is as unusual and enigmatic, yet completely synchronistic to the above entwined anchor-dolphin plate! Like the above plate, we have not been able to identify who or what organization this spoon was produced for.

The defined latin meaning of De Profundis is "in the depths; the profoundly despairing, degrading depths". And is actually a Christian lament and the title of Psalm 130 (Septuagint numbering: Psalm 129), traditionally referred to as De profundis, after its Latin incipit, and is one of the Penitential Psalms; "Out of the depths I have cried to Thee." In deep sorrow the psalmist cries to God, asking for mercy. The psalmist's trust becomes a model for the people.

De Profundis or "the depths": Sheol (or Hell) used here is a metaphor for total misery, complete degradation and utter despair. Deep anguish makes the psalmist feel "like those who go down to the pit" (Psalm 143:7). Of point, "the depths" are an epithet for the depths of the sea, which in turn is an image of the realm of death. Other Bible passages (Creation, the dwelling of Leviathan, Jesus stilling the storm) also resonate with imagery of fear and chaos engendered by the depths of the sea.

Perhaps the fouled anchor on this spoon is a representation and metaphor of being dropped to the depths for an altruistic purpose, and then being lifted up out of those depths when the purpose has been fullfilled, (ie; literally, an anchor is purposefully dropped to save a ship in rough seas, but is then lifted up and stored ready for a future need when the emergency is over.)

"De Profundis" is also the title of a letter written by English author Oscar Wilde while he was incarcerated in prison 1895-1897.
de profundis, from the depths of despair hallmark The hallmarks on this spoon indicate that it is English in origin. Beginning from left to right the initials WH&S in blocks indicates that William Hutton & Sons (1880's-1920's) of Sheffield, England was the silversmith who produced this spoon. The next blocked capital letters B and P indicate Britania Plate, for silverplate. The badge enclosed hallmark MP over an A is unknown and has been surmised that it possibly represents the person or organization that the silverware was produced for.

double crossed anchors, wings and wheel or cog double crossed anchors, wings and wheel or cog

This beautiful and stunning 9" dinner plate designed in a white and blue glazed body was purchased along with a matching coffee cup and saucer, so this was certainly part of a larger set. The topmark consists of a royal crown with christian cross positioned above two crossed navy-style anchors and wings which are both going through a wheel or cog. This is not consistent with any currently known logos or insiginia of any known navies or merchant fleets anywhere in the world. Truly an enigma wrapped in a paradox!

The manufacture's bottomark for both of these china pieces indicates that they were made by Rareuther in Bavaria, West Germany. There is also the numeral "04" as part of the underglaze and the numeral "50" imprinted right into the clay.

double crossed anchors, wings and wheel or cog Caption of Photo reads: "Built for Danske Statsbaner" ( Danish State Railways or DSB ), the train and car ferry originally named "Dronning Ingrd" (Queen Ingrid ) began service in April 1951 plying between its registered port of Korsor and Nyborg. Several changes of Danish inter-island and Danish-Germany routes ensued before the vessel gave up her Royal title in August 1979."

MYSTERY SOLVED! Yes, a new friend of The Pirate's Lair took it upon himself to solve this mystery and one other as well! The above topmark has been identified as belonging to the "Danish Railway" which also operated a ferry service between Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany! Below is the analysis/research performed:

The logo indicates that a) it comes from a country with a monarchy (the crown), and b) the winged-wheel indicates a connection to a railroad.

It is common for railroads which operate ferry services to add an anchor or two for their ferry service. The style of the crown is similar to those used by Denmark and the Netherlands. Further research leads me to surmise that this logo is probably from the Dansk Statsbaner/DSB (Danish State Railway) which used to operate a ferry service from Denmark to Germany, called the Great Belt ferries (Danish: Storebæltsfærgerne).

Here are some links of DSB pictures of the DSB ferries Kong Frederik IX and Selandia (below) show a logo on the bow which closely resembles the one which appears on the "unknown" china.
Princess Selandia
Logo on Ship
Logo on Ship
Logo on Ship
The Danish Great Belt ferries were the train and car ferries operating across the Danish strait of Great Belt, between the islands of Zealand and Funen. The railway ferry link was established in 1883, while automobile-only ferries started operating in 1930.

The ferry services ceased operating with the opening of the Great Belt Fixed Link, which occurred in 1997 for rail and 1998 for car traffic. Despite the popularity of the fixed link, some ferries still connect eastern and western Denmark. The company Mols-Linien continues to operate ferries between northwest Zealand and East Jutland, while the Spodsbjerg–Tårs route some 45 kilometres to the south also remains serviced by ferries.

By clicking HERE you can view various photo's of this entire 3 piece collection.


fouled anchor with word hope around it fouled anchor with word hope around it

fouled anchor with word hope around it

The above plate is beautifully done in a white glaze with blue and gold striping around the edge.

This unusual blue insignia or topmark consists of a naval fouled anchor within a badge or shield of sorts with the word HOPE above it.

The badge or shield gives the appearance of the anchor being in the depths of the sea with waves cresting above and below to either side of the shield.

The backstamp indicates that it was manufactured by OPCO Syracuse China with a T-2 date code meaning it was produced in February, 1939. Certainly 1939 was a precarious and significant year leading up to the beginning of WWII

official seal of the state of rhode island

This "MYSTERY SOLVED" by two friends of The Pirate's Lair.Here is the first post to us by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous:

This anchor with the word "Hope" is the emblem of the State of Rhode Island. Perhaps this china comes from the Governor's Office, or perhaps the dining room of the State Legislature? I hope this helps you to positively identify the china in question.

Here is a link to the State of Rhode Island's web site which provides the history behind the State Seal:
Official Seal of the State of Rhode Island and Its History

However a second friend of The Pirate's Lair, Mr. Michael Cogley also known as The Yankee Picker, advised us that this plate is actually the diningware made specifically for a most prestigious and private social club called "The Hope Club" located in Providence, Rhode Island. The Hope Club was established in 1875 and continues to this day.

united fruit company now known as united brands united fruit company food warmer

The above item is a food warmer which was placed over the top of a plate to keep the food warm until it was served, or until the guests were seated. Food warmers had ventillation holes in the top to allowing steam to escape thereby preventing significant condensation from the heat dripping back into the food spoiling it. Food warmers while being practical also needed to be stylishly appropriate for the pleasure of the dining guests. Food warmers were used in sophisticated hotels and restaurants, commercial and passenger shipping lines, and in the executive dining suites of major corporations.

united fruit company, the great white fleet The above food warmer was made and used by the United Fruit Company which was a commercial and passenger shipping company that plied the waters of the Carribean, Central and South America's to the United States. Not only were they the #1 freight and shipping company dominating the railroads and seaways between the Americas, but they also owned huge plantations of every imaginable and marketable fruit crop in Central and South America (Chiquita Banana ring a bell). Their economic and political (and military!) might and muscle were such that they literally elected and deposed governments in the areas they controlled.

Image to the left is from a 1916 magazine advertisement of the United Fruit Company's network in which they arrogantly advertised themselves as "The Great White Fleet" since all of their ships were painted white.

Formed in 1899 with regional dominance and monopoly in the early to mid-20th Century, the United Fruit Company, later renamed United Brands in 1970, had a most shady past. And was arguably the basis of the hit book and movie "The Ugly American" first published back in the late 1950's (but which in the book took place in SE Asia not Central America).

In 1950, Gore Vidal published a novel (Dark Green, Bright Red) in which a thinly fictionalized version of United Fruit supports a military coup in a thinly fictionalized Guatemala.

With all of it's faults the United Fruit Company pioneered the development of refrigerated Reefer Ships used to transport perishable items, farm-to-consumer economics, and it should also be noted that the United Fruit Company was a technological leader in the development of international telecommunications.

United Fruit established the first ever worldwide network of ship-to-shore telegraphic communications so that they could better manage and communicate directly with their worldwide holdings of plantations, railroads, manifests of freighter and passenger ships, embarcation/debarcation points, sellers and buyers throughout the America's and Europe.

This communications network became so vast and extensive that in 1913 "Tropical Radio and Telegraph" was formed as a subsidiary to United Fruit. This subsidiary was later renamed TRT Telecommunications and was the first International Record Carrier whose competitors were Western Union, AT&T, and RCA which provided all communications between the United States and the rest of the World.

While relatively unknown to the general public, TRT was a significant player in the international telecommunications arena and provided the redundant communications for the very first Space Shuttle between Kennedy Space Center and Rota, Spain which was the largest and only backup airstrip in the free world outside of the United States which could land the Shuttle in the event it could not land in the US!

This food warmer was manufactured by International Silver and has the hall marks and date codes to establish it being produced in 1918.

unknown crossed fouled anchor crescent with 5 pointed star all encircled

MYSTERY SOLVED! By a friend of The Pirate's Lair, Mr. Sylvio Sieberth from Germany (a fellow nautical and military dinnerware enthusiast and collector) and through his research it was found that this fork was manufactured for a Turkish Martime Bank, Denizcilik Bankasi T. A. O. The "crossed anchors and crescent" is the bank's symbol! More images and details can be found on Google.

Note the monogram on the above 8.5" dinner fork showing the encircled crossed fouled anchors with what appears to be a crescent and 5 pointed star above them which is the Islamic symbol.

The above silverplated dinner fork was manufactured by Wurttembergische Metallwarenfabrik (WMF) or Wurttemberg Metal Factory of Germany. The WMF hallmark on the back stem of the fork includes the scripted word "Patent" along with a square with a 90 in it and a diamond with 45 in it both indicating thickness and purity of the silverplate.

small butter spreader, silverplate with fouled anchor small butter spreader, silverplate with fouled anchor small butter spreader, silverplate with fouled anchor

The above small 6" butter spoon is made of electro-silverplate in a very bland pattern with an engraved anchor fouled anchor of unknown origin. The fouled anchor certainly is not one used by the US Navy nor any other navy we are familiar with. There really is nothing very stylized or unusual about the anchor, nor the pattern, nor the hallmarks on the stem. So it is here in the unknown and miscellaneous web page.

The below large 15" contemporary glass serving dish with a fouled anchor design just needed a home, so I stuck it here! So if you like it buy it! See below to purchase.
large clear glass serving plate or dish with fouled anchor motif
Large 15" Clear Glass Serving Dish or Plate with Fouled Anchor Design Motif
Large Serving Dish with Fouled Anchor
Excellent Condition. Great for Nautical Decor or Parties with a Nautical Flair.
 Call To Order
540 659 6209

Below are links to other Antique Nautical and Naval Artifacts that may be of interest:

Click HERE for WWII US Navy Anchor China

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Music Credits: Donald Where's Your Trousers/Drunken Sailor medley by The Bards