The Renowned Shops in Charlotte County
The other enterprise of which we wish to speak is the famous Wedgwood House of Mr. G. Harold Stickney, in St. Andrews. Mr. Stickney’s father, the late G. F. Stickney, was a working jeweller who came from Saint John many years ago and opened a jewellery and hardware store. Those who knew the store forty or fifty years ago, and up to the time of the late Mr. Stickney’s death in 1892, will remember the wonderful stock to be found there, not always displayed in elaborate show cases, but produced, in request, from drawers and receptacles beneath the counter. Mr. Stickney was a man of artistic tastes, and by a fortunate chance he became interested in the products of the famous Wedgwood pottery in Etruria, Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, England. Gradually, year by year, Mr. Stickney increased his purchases from this famous pottery, and in the course of time his store became known throughout America as the place where Wedgwood ware could be found in greater variety than in any other place on the continent, and often people came here for the sole purpose of buying one or more pieces of “Wedgwood” that could not be obtained elsewhere. On the death of Mr. Stickney, senior, the business was taken over by his son, the present proprietor, who has gradually dropped out of the hardware and jewellery business and devoted most of his time to the business of pottery, of which the products of Etruria form the most conspicuous part. We speak whereof we know when we say that not even in London itself can be found such a collection of “Wedgwood” as can be seen any day in Wedgwood House in St. Andrews. The stock is not entirely the product of the famous Staffordshire pottery, but wares made in other renowned English potteries are also carried. Nobody visits St. Andrews without making at least one purchase of the famous Wedgwood table-ware or ornament, and it ever afterwards remains a valuable souvenir and household possession.
We may repeat a story of Wedgwood pottery that some readers may not have heard, or having heard, may have forgotten. A daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, the founder of the pottery at Etruria, was married to Isaac Darwin the father of the more famous Charles Darwin. Isaac Darwin was a physician, and in the course of his practice acquired the belief that most human ills had their origin in the stomach and were caused by people bolting their food without proper mastication. To impress this fact on his family and guests he had his father-in-law make for him a dinner set on every plate of which was displayed the admonition MASTICATE, DENTICATE, CHUMP, CHEW AND SWALLOW. We do not think Mr. Stickney happens to have any replicas of those plates in stock.