This cheerful little condiment jar is a horseradish pot made by Syracuse China. At only just over 2 inches tall, it is definitely not one of the mustard pots, which are noticeably larger (see our last picture).
The pattern is "California Poppy," made by Syracuse China for both the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and railroad hosteler/restaurateur Fred Harvey, who used the dinnerware serving meals to passengers aboard Santa Fe dining cars and later became famous for the Harvey House hotels and restaurants he established along the railroad's route.
"California Poppy" was an "exclusive pattern" -- the railroad contracts with Syracuse China required that it could be produced for no other customers in the commercial, heavy-weight dinnerware. SOME California Poppy pieces do carry railroad markings on their undersides, but the great majority do not -- like this horseradish pot.
We guarantee this little jar is absolutely authentic, but without the railroad marking, the only question is whether it was produced for the AT&SF or for Fred Harvey. It is correctly bottom marked by Syracuse China. The number 91 in the bottom marking translates to production in the year 1962; the month is designated by the number of dots below, which is either 9 (September) or 11 (November). This may seem a bit modern, but the Santa Fe Railway continued its passenger service until 1971, and Fred Harvey operations continued until 1965.
CONDITION is spectacular, with absolutely NO cracks, chips, flakes or repairs, even on the matching lid. The floral decoration is bright and beautiful.
COLLECTORS BEWARE: "California Poppy" made by Syracuse China was an exclusive pattern for the Santa Fe in the HEAVY, COMMERCIAL WEIGHT ware. Standard household weight ("thinware") was NEVER produced for or sold to the railroad. Further, any pieces of household weight California Poppy with "S.S." ("Store Selection") in their marking are high quality seconds that were sold through the company's retail store. That said -- these non-railroad pieces are perfect to use on the table and enjoy the pattern, while valuable collector pieces stay safely in your display cabinet !
IMPORTANT - the mustard pot shown is for comparison only; it is not for sale at this time.