There are a few weeks left in the year, to share two or three more stories behind vintage items I own. I rescued the German Eglantine Biscuit Jar. Greg’s grandparents had stopped using it and tucked it away in their storage shed. I had no idea what it was, I just thought it was uniquely pretty. As a newlywed, I displayed the jar for a while and then I too quit using it and stored it away.
After many moves and the passage of years, I recently uncovered the biscuit jar again. Thanks to Google, I now have the ability to learn more about this vintage treasure.
Eglantine Biscuit Jar
The mark on the bottom of the jar has a crown over a stylized O and H, with the words “Germany” and “Eglantine” printed beneath.
Eglantine is a type of rose. This piece has dainty roses painted around the jar, and the handles and top of the lid are made from porcelain roses. The glaze finish is clear and gold details adorn the edges.
When Americans hear the word biscuits we imagine small fluffy rounds of bread, dripping with butter or smothered in gravy. However, in Europe a biscuit is what we’d call a cookie. This small exquisite beauty is a cookie jar!
The Eglantine Biscuit Jar is German in origin. The mark with the fancy O and H indicates Hermann Ohme manufactured it between 1920 and 1930.
The factory was located in the town of Nieder-Salzbrunn (today Sczawienko). Ohme mainly produced full dinner sets and accessories which were available in two types of finishes. Clear Glaze and Old Ivory wares were both made from the same quality of porcelain but the Old Ivory type received an additional light ivory colored matte glaze. The Clear Glaze, decorated with a wide variety of floral and geometric patterns, was produced for the European and US market.
In 1913 Hermann Ohme, E.M. Bauer and Hermann Ohme Jr owned the company. Together they increased production for the export market, which proved to be a fatal decision. While pushing those exports, they missed the beginning signs that indicated a financial crises was coming. When the bottom dropped out of the export business, shortly after the collapse of the stock market in October 1929, a world wide economic collapse began. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1930.
The significance of the biscuit jar, with its origins, is that Bill and Ruby Kygar Moore both had German ancestry. The Siegfrieds and the Kygars, whether they shared connections in Germany or not, definitely tracked together in America. Greg continues to research his family roots through Ancestry.com. Bill Moore’s mother was a Siegfried. And Ruby’s father, a Kygar. Several items passed down to us came through those family lines.
I am honored to be the keeper of the German porcelain pieces that include a Hertwig china doll, the biscuit jar and a Bavarian china bread tray, seen in the picture. Traditional cookies aren’t part of my diet any longer. However, I have several healthy, plant based cookie recipes. Perhaps that biscuit jar will enjoy a new life, holding a different kind of treat.
Tonight, the jar cradles a tea light candle. I’m on Pinterest though, searching for healthy versions of traditional German cookies. How fun will baking those be?