The Tobacco Jar

I saw this jar from a distance at a yard sale. 

I wasn't looking for a jar.  

I didn't need a jar.

But I saw it, liked it, and bought it!  

It didn't look quite this pretty, although it was basically in good condition.  There were no cracks, chips, or splits, just some scratches and this funny mark on the side that looked like paint. 
So, I sat myself down on a sunny afternoon and started sanding with a fine grit sandpaper.  In no time that mark was gone and whatever finish was on it - also gone.

I tried to do a little research on it but couldn't find much.  I did find one exactly like this in an Etsy shop. It was titled, 'Wooden Jar' and it was sold.  Oddly enough, we watched Pride & Prejudice on PBS and I noticed a similar jar on Mr. Bennet's desk.  With everything I researched, my guess is it was originally a tobacco jar; so that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  At least until an expert tells me I'm wrong!  Thanks to one of my dear readers, J Neal, I have learned this is actually a Saffron Cup!  You can read the details in the comment section below.

It needed a finish so I pulled out the Lemon Oil and rubbed it into the wood. 
It was an easy way to give it a lovely finish and it only took a few minutes.  The quickest and easiest refinishing job I've ever done!
Now it sits on my vintage Speaker Cabinet along with a few other items. It's not really used for anything...maybe a random screw or penny gets tossed in it.  You know, 'bits & bobs'. 
 
What have you bought recently that you weren't looking for and didn't need? 




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Comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! It was an impulse buy and my husband was glad it wasn't a piece of furniture. LOL

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  2. Its beautiful and looks well-made. I haven't been thrift shopping in ages but that's usually where I find things like this - beautiful and old and that really speak to me. Happy Easter!

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    1. Thank you, Gina. I haven't been shopping in a while either. This has been sitting just waiting for me to write about it! Hopefully this year we can start shopping again.

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  3. It's a great piece & the lemon oil really made it gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you, Jeannie. It really was an easy refinishing job!

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  4. Whatever it was it's a lovely find, the wood has come up beautifully. And now you have, to quote Winnie the Pooh, a useful pot for putting things in!

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    1. Thank you - I love the Winnie the Pooh quote!

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  5. Well, that is gorgeous and very, very unique. I love it. I would say I'll be on the lookout for one of my very own...but I think it's a one in a million find...for my one in a million friend!

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    1. You're too sweet, Kim! If I ever find another one I'll grab it for you....yard sale season is almost here!

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  6. Ann,
    I always used to buy things that I just happened upon and was not particularly looking for but this year, one of my goals is to not spend any money on anything that I do not need and to shop my own house instead....Hopefully, this will be a very creative year doing this!!! Thanks so much for stopping by!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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    1. I know what you mean, Debbie. This has been sitting in my house just waiting for me to write about it so, I guess I did shop my house!

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  7. My husband found one just like this at Goodwill and brought it home. I love it but had no idea what it was. I learned something new today, thank you!

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    1. That's really interesting. I wonder if they were mass-produced at one point in time?

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  8. My father used to make similar wooden jars but they weren't on a pedestal and they were only 2-3 inches tall. I ended up with a lot of them. I saved them and gave them a couple of years ago to my grandkids. They loved them!

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    1. Your father was a talented man! I'd love to be able to do that kind of woodworking.

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  9. Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday. Pretty "tobacco " jar. There is something so satisfying about a simple makeover. That piece was probably neglected for so long and now it gets to shine.

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    1. Thank you. It was simple and I was happy to see it be pretty again.

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  10. Looks like a great find! I like anything wood.

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    1. Thank you, Sarah. I always try to preserve wood when I can.

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  11. I wanted to tell you that what you have is not a tobacco jar, but a saffron cup. Such vessels with snug-fitting lids were used to hold precious spices like saffron and tea mixtures. A much nicer use than for holding tobacco, IMHO. If you do an image search for "saffron cup" or search on Ebay or at an antique site such as Kovel's you may see a variety of these cups. The older pieces (whether cups, jars, or boxes) may be quite primitive, some even having decorative painting, or elegant touches. Some containers may have compartments. More elaborate pieces might be inlaid with different woods or mosaic work, or have hand carving. The turned saffron cup I bought years ago in an antique shop happens to have a graceful pedestal form, a lovely mahogany finish, and a carved acorn for a finial on the lid. Should you get hold of a lidded saffron cup or other wooden container whose original purpose likely was to store and protect spices or teas, it's probably wise to hold off on making it a refinishing project until you've been able to do some in-depth research. The value of an old item may be significantly depreciated by refinishing the piece... particularly with items that may have original decorative Folk Art painting... even if the paint seems in shabby condition or the vessel has significant wear otherwise or has suffered some structural damage. I'm NOT saying refinishing is bad in every case, but I would recommend holding off getting down and gritty with sandpaper and stain on a piece like this until you know what you actually have and can better assess its value in its found condition.

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    1. Thank you so much for this information. I had no idea and am glad to hear it's a saffron cup since I'm a tea drinker and I don't smoke! LOL I will do some more research on saffron cups.

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  12. Congratulations! Your post was my feature pick at #OverTheMoon this week. Each Hostess displays their own features so be sure to visit me on Sunday evening and to see your feature! I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon. Please don’t forget to add your link numbers or post title so we can be sure to visit!

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    1. Thank you so much, Marilyn. I'll be sure to stop by!

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  13. Beautiful. You never know the treasures you will fine. Thank you for sharing on the Classy Flamingos blog party.

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  14. Learn something every day! Very cool story. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen

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    1. So true. I just love the stories that old thing tell!

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  15. Very interesting find. I learned more about what a saffron cup is at least by reading the comment. Either way, it looks so much prettier with a new finish. Thanks for sharing your post. #HomeMattersParty

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    1. Same here! I had never heard of a saffron cup before...love when people share their knowledge.

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