Adam's family is large enough that it would be a stretch of finances and creative gift ideas to purchase a present for each sibling a Christmastime. They've devised a clever strategy to ensure full stockings for all: we each draw names for a large gift, three sets of stocking stuffers, and a free gift. It's always fun to see what is given freely. Sometimes a found item, sometimes a talent, sometimes a batch of cookies or a clean car.
This year my mother-in-law drew my name and gave me a free gift with immense value- a domed glass cheese dish that belonged to her mother, and an entertaining research project.
It is, as it turns out, a beautiful example of early American pressed glass, created by Gillinder & Sons in Philadelphia. The pattern is also one of the first to feature the acid etching technique that gives the lion its frosted appearance. How incredible that this dish, crafted in 1877, now resides in our china cabinet. Rest assured that it's safely beyond the reach of our own rampant lions! I'll be so proud to showcase it in future tablescapes, thinking of the history (both of family and country) that it represents.