About ten years ago, DPaul and I were perusing vintage store The Other Shop, back when they were still in Hayes Valley. Back then it was a bit more ramshackle than its current incarnation on Divisadero, a strange collection of mostly mid-century goods smattered about in a random fashion. The prices were always good, and there were some serious gems to be had. In fact, we once purchased a vintage pedestal hair dryer for ten bucks which DPaul subsequently converted into a lamp.
But on this particular day, we were derailed by a set of plates. Brunch plates, specifically, with a divot in the upper right upon which sat a matching tea cup. In the center, a stylized black rooster strutted, well, cockily. The plates were stamped with the pattern name, Black Cockerel, and the maker, Mancioli.
It was a mismatched set, with something like seven plates and five cups. But they were charming, and they were only about twelve dollars. So we bought them.
Flash forward a few years: eBay happens. Suddenly, nothing is too obscure, too random for purchase. No longer do stray dishes sit on a dusty shelf in a thrift store in Dubuque. No matter what it is, someone wants to buy it, somewhere. In the case of Mancioli Black Cockerel, that someone is us. And only us.