I came across this set of three round metal (aluminum?) enameled containers at the tiny The Shepherd's Attic thrift store in the equally small farming community of Chilton, Wisconsin.
This set absolutely caught my eye and made my heart jump. How did I not know about this?! The covered bowls nest cozily inside each other, which is how I found it. Taking off the largest lid, I found another container with a lid, and then the smallest, also with a lid.
Simpson's, a Canadian department store, partnered with Sears in 1952. Their stores were known as Simpsons-Sears until 1984 when the partnership consolidated under Sears Canada. Though access to nearly 50-year-old foreign department store catalogs is challenging, Merry Mushrooms appear around 1973, three years after their debut in the U.S.
Today, Canadian Merry Mushrooms are regularly listed on eBay and other auction sites, often with prices in Canadian dollars. At first it can be daunting to differentiate between foreign and domestic fungi, due to the strong resemblance of the embossed and decal designs. But after taking a moment to consider the differences, identification can be done with confidence.
Let’s start with a look at four Canadian ceramic pieces with embossed designs and compare them to their U.S. counterparts. Future Family Album posts will cover other ceramic pieces, including uniquely Canadian products, and cookware.
Ceramic pieces were described in the Simpson-Sears catalogs as “made in Canada” and “hand-painted and created by Canadian artisans.” The ceramic pieces differ slightly in detail and color from the pieces available in the United States.
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