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Where did The Last Supper plate at the thrift store come from?

In the middle of a stack of decorative commemorative plates at the thrift store was a plate of The Last Supper. I put the plate on top of the stack and took a photograph.  I didn’t turn the plate over.

plate4

I was content to just take a photograph. A plate of The Last Supper was interesting, but I didn’t want to buy it. I thought it might be a good image to use to write a story about art going from a monastery in Milan, Italy to a gold embossed plate selling for two dollars in Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania. The original fifteen by twenty-nine-foot painting by Leonardo da Vinci was  reduced to a mass marketed ten-inch plate.

But, I didn’t want to spend two dollars on a plate, even if it was Jesus; I had come to buy belts, not plates.

When I got home I kept thinking about the plate. It reminded me of a wall hanging we had of The Last Supper in the home where I grew up.  The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci glued to an angled slice of a tree, showing the bark on the edge of the slice. Jesus eating his last meal with his disciples the Wednesday before he was killed. A comforting image from my childhood.

I was going to go back to the store to buy the plate, but when I checked their hours on-line, they were already closed. The thrift store closed two hours early because it was Good Friday.

This morning all I could think about was the plate.

Would the plate be there when I went back?

The plate had become more than a plate. It had become a story. The plate was my childhood story and it was a someone else’s story.

Did someone die?

Who had owned the ten inch The Last Supper plate that was selling for two dollars?

As soon as I entered the store I headed straight to the back of the store. I didn’t stop at the jewelry counter. I didn’t stop at the belts or the jeans or the shoes or the shirts.

And.

There it was.

The Last Supper plate was on top of the stack of plates. The plate was where I had left it.

I turned over the plate.

plate5meda_young

Meda Young was written on a piece of medical tape stuck to the bottom of the plate. The plate was made in Nashville, TN by Sanders Mfg. Co. It was a copyrighted first edition of The Lord’s Supper, Warranted 23 K Gold.

A similar plate is selling for $8.99 on Etsy. I could try to sell the plate and make a profit of $6.99. But. I don’t want to sell. Meda Young wrote her name on the back of the plate. Perhaps it was her treasure.

Dear Meda Young,

I bought your plate.

xo
Pamela

platw7

When I searched on Google, I found an obituary for a Meda Young who died on April 26th, 2010 in Eatontown, New Jersey. From my town to her town is 105.8 miles. A two-hour drive.

Maybe The Last Supper plate belonged to the Meda Young  I found on the internet. Maybe I have the plate of the women who, “had a warm smile and a generous spirit that brought joy to those who spent time with her.”

Meda Young’s plate is bringing me joy.

Remembering Meda Young and Jesus.

xo
Pamela

As always I love to hear from you.

 

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

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  • Pamela,
    I’m glad that when you went back the plate was there. Often I will walk through a thrift store and when I see items there I wonder what their story is, who owned them. Liked your post and the opportunity to think of that again. I can hardly wait till we experience the marriage feast of the lamb. I believe that will be a meal worth remembering. Oh not the food, just the company. Finally sitting with our Savior.

  • EmFairley

    I’m so glad you went back for the plate. I know it will be treasured as much as the other plates it hangs with

  • Judy

    I’ve been enjoying your posts and love the cat illustrations.
    So sad to see family treasures in thrift stores and auction houses. They now have a chance of being someone else’s treasure and that’s preferable to the dump! I have scanned most of our family photos and uploaded them to flickr to share with with siblings and cousins. I also make video slideshows of all family events and memories to keep them alive for future generations. If my family treasures end up at an auction or in the dump the essence of those memories will not be lost.

  • Robn Patrick

    Pamela, I always enjoy reading your thoughts. I too am glad you went back and got the plate! I was getting antsy waiting to find out if you went back, if it was there, if there was a name on it. And you did and there was! I’ve seen many things in a thrift store that I wondered where it came from and what family had no idea that this treasure was sitting here with a price tag that said it is worth next to nothing. I know they are just things, but they are parts of people’s history too. Makes me smile that you now own Meda Young’s plate. I can imagine her taking it to potlucks filled with offerings to put joy on the faces of people she loves.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    Oh Pamela, I am soooo happy you went back & bought the plate. I still have the “last supper by Leonardo da Vinci” that is glued to a slice of a tree showing the bark on the edge of the slice. It hangs above the door in my computer room, still as beautiful as it was all those years ago, a memory of your childhood. A very comforting piece for me. Hugs to you on this easter day. I love you!!

    • Hi Mom,
      How nice you still have The Last Supper wall hanging. Now we both have a Last Supper on our walls.
      Hugs to you mother of mine.
      xo
      Pamela