By Christina VanGinkel
I wrote some time ago about the Little Red Riding Hood kitchenware manufactured by the Hull Ware Company. I once owned several pieces of the set, and after having sold them to help make ends meet after my husband was involved in a debilitating accident, I made a solemn vow to replace the set someday, as it had always been promised to my daughter, and had sentimental value along with the monetary one that won out. Piece by piece I hoped that I would be able to gather back the set, which included a teapot, cookie jar, sugar and creamer, and a salt and pepper. The Little Red Riding Hood set by Hull also has numerous other pieces, including a spice set, tea canister, pie vent, butter dish, match safe, and more.
Yesterday, I made my first step at replacing the set. I am sure it will take me many years to complete it, but at least I have made a start. I always check every antique store I enter, every rummage and estate sale I come across, and browse eBay quite fanatically at times hoping to find a piece or two of the set at a bargain price. Sure, eBay always has pieces from the Little Red Riding Hood by Hull set, but usually for more than my budget can handle.
Then yesterday morning as I was doing some of my eBay browsing, I came across the pair of salt and pepper set that I had sold. While not the exact ones, they were the same design, same size, three, and a quarter inches tall, etc. The salt and peppers from this particular collection actually come in two sizes, large and small, one set for the table, and one for cooking to keep near a stove The best part of it though was that they were selling for a much cheaper price than I had ever seen similar sets go for. That is one of the great things about eBay. You never know what sort of deals you might come across. Search long and hard enough, and there are deals to be had. This was looking like just such a deal.
The set had a bid of $8.00 when I first found it and it only had about three hours to go. It had a somewhat vague description, with a comment by the seller that they were not sure if they were the real thing. She had provided plenty of good pictures though and I was able to easily discern that they were indeed an authentic pair of Little Red Riding Hood by Hull salt and pepper shakers. They did not have any cracks, chips, or crazing the description went on to say, and other than one of them missing a cork, appeared to be identical to the set I had parted with years ago, and so I watched the bidding on them for the next couple of hours. With about an hour to go, someone else placed a bid and the price jumped to just under ten dollars. I decided to do what I often do when bidding at eBay on something I really want, but have a limit on what I will pay for it set in my mind. I waited until there were only a few minutes left on the auction, and then I placed a bid for the highest amount that I was willing to pay. My bid was the highest bid and best yet, it was not for what I was willing to bid up to. With only a few seconds left, the clock ran out and I was the high bidder. I had won them!
For now, I am one salt and pepper set closer to my goal, and my daughter will be the recipient of her first pieces of collectible Hull ware this coming Christmas, which is when I plan to give her these. I still have many more pieces to collect to replace all that I sold, but this is a start. Collecting a set of something can be fun, but when you have a goal in mind as I do, the hobby of collecting takes on even more meaning. To all you collectors, you will know what I mean when I say that the chase is half the fun, but finally finding something you have been searching for is a very sweet success!