On occassion, we will be posting items that we cannot identify. Typically, those will be items from the collection of artifacts, but today the staff stumbled across something special.

This flower was spotted outside of the Bristol Inn. It stands about a foot tall and has a pretty purple/blue flower with a light green stamen sticking out of the center. Any ideas?

After some research, the plant has been identified as “Love-in-a-Mist”. Its counterpart is “Devil-in-a-Bush”, which references the seed pod that develops after blooming. They are from the fennel family and is an old plant that perfectly suits our historic gardens. To learn more about this plant and to see the “Devil-in-a-Bush”, follow the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigella_damascena

This punch bowl, according to our records, belonged to the W. P. Bristol family, whose home we have on the Charlton Park property. The bowl was purchased and donated to the Park by Anna Johnson in 1975, who bought it from Hastings Country Club. The bowl is hand painted and gilded, signed by G. L. Slawson in 1910. The bowl would have been owned by a descendant of W.P. Bristol, considering the bowl is dated 1910, and he passed away in 1898.

The manufacturer’s mark states it was made by H & Co. of Bavaria over an ornate crown. This could refer to Heinrich & Co., but CP’s bowl does not include “Selb”, which was standard on all of their pieces. The H & Co. Bavaria stamp matches no backstamp that we have located. The way the punch bowl is painted looks more like a Limoges, France style piece. Haviland & Co. most resembles the mark on CP’s punch bowl, except for “Bavaria”. A grandson of David Haviland, Johann, had a factory in Bavaria (1907-1924). It may be from Johann’s factory. Haviland purists seem to ignore Johann’s patterns. Compounding the issue, porcelain factories also created plain pieces that the purchaser could paint themselves. There are several Slawsons that lived in Barry County, MI during that time, who could have decorated the punch bowl. This punch bowl is gorgeous and large, with a diameter over 1 foot, and is an excellent piece, no matter what its history.