Friday, August 4, 2017

Rule Number One

I tested an accumulated set of vintage restaurant china to see if the glazes were free of lead. Five of the six sample pieces were poisonous. To test each one, which would be necessary, costs just a little less than the price it fetches.

When I was just old enough to wash dishes, my mother pointed out the marks and made sure that I understood how important it is to use ware from a reputable maker. I believe she passed on her lesson before lead testing kits were easily available. I had relaxed my vigilance about the vintage set because I trusted the source and because many of the makers have been pillars of ceramics. 

A professor of biochemistry pointed out the dire hazard of lead. A tox-haz expert told me he would shatter each dish if it were up to him to dispose of them. I leave it to the community of collectors to decide what is the right thing to do -30-

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