The first time I ever saw a George Jones tea tray was in a photograph in a magazine. The article wasn't about majolica, it was about how a man decorated his home.
The man had a farm and this big expansive kitchen. One wall was covered with shelves full of majolica. On his kitchen island he had a Minton beehive cheese stand. I believe there was also a Minton monkey teapot somewhere nearby. He owned a turquoise GJ tea tray and he kept it on the shelf with the other majolica. Once a day he filled it with dried corn and seed and fed his chickens off of it.
Yes, you read that correctly--he fed his chickens off of it. This is the same tea tray that George Jones made to match his monkey handled tea set. Similar to the one above from the Madelena Web site that is retailing for $4150. These chickens ate in style!
It reminds us that not too long ago majolica was considered a disposable remnant from a garish age.
I'd love to see that article again. If any readers know where it appeared please drop me a line.
Oh by the way, years later I was at a flea market and I saw a GJ tea tray in terrible condition that had the entire center covered with little nicks, like a bird had pecked at it.
Now I'm not saying that was the same tray I saw in the magazine article, but I couldn't help but wonder.