My Pot Has An Amazing Story To Tell (Or Not)


At an estate sale last weekend, my husband Mark wanted to spend $125 to buy a plain copper pot with two handles and a lid. He claimed it was a pressure cooker, hand-hammered in England. I wasn’t so sure.

“I think it might be a tourist item made in India,” I said.

“No way,” he countered. “Look at this house. Everything in here is an antique. These people were world travelers.”

“India is part of the world,” I noted.

We could’ve left a bid on it and waited to see if we could get it for less, but Mark was worried someone else would snap it up in the meantime. He wanted to pay full price and take it right then.

I hemmed and hawed and decided to take a closer look. I lifted the lid, peered inside, and that’s when I said, “Let’s buy this thing.”

Now, you may be thinking that perhaps it was stamped “1821” or maybe that there was a $100 bill inside. Or even that someone left a diamond ring in there.

No. Those are not the kinds of things that would cause me such excitement. Plus, those last two things would be stealing. What there was, was a green sticker that read, “Evidence.”

Screw provenance, that sticker upped the value of the pot significantly. I can sell that pot in my shop at a profit now. It has a tale to tell.

Of course, I will have to do the talking for it. I don’t know the name of the owner of the estate, so I have no idea what kind of hanky-panky they were involved in. I will have to guess — which I prefer anyway.

“What’s the history of this pot?” my potential customer will ask.

And I will respond, “Oh, we’re not sure but…” (here I will lift the lid with a flourish) “…it does have this ‘Evidence’ sticker inside. And you will notice that it is just the right size to hold a human head.”


“Yeah, it’s a shame really. The people who owned it were world travelers. They got this in England, then had a falling-out when they got back to America. He went to jail and…” (in hushed tones) “…all they found of her was her head.”

The potential customer will either run off screaming or simply run off. Or they might want that pot on their mantel, as a macabre conversation piece.

Of course, the real story is likely much duller. The couple that owned that pot could have been at an estate sale and the husband wanted it because he thought it was a pressure cooker hand-hammered in England. She may have opened it up and seen the ‘Evidence’ sticker inside and bought it to put on their mantel as a macabre conversation piece.

Or, they could’ve gotten into a really big fight over it, and now she’s in jail, and all they found of him was…