Wednesday, December 13, 2017

An Amazing Gift

Sometimes the generosity of others can be astounding, and last week I was completely stunned by an amazing gift given to me by a family friend.

For a couple of years now, I have voluntarily been the head cook at a supper in the church where my wife Nancy grew up.  It is a fun job because all of the ladies who help with the preparations are fabulous cooks themselves, so they are excellent help.  All they need me for is to be the chief.

As a thank you for that service, two of the ladies (a mother-daughter team) decided to give me a gift at the group's Christmas potluck supper last Wednesday evening.  After supper, they placed a very large gift bag in front of me, and when I finally got past all of the tissue paper, I was shocked.  It was a good kind of shock, of course, but it was shock nonetheless.

Inside all of that paper was an antique miniature cookstove.

Since my fascination with woodburning cookstoves originated with a similar stove, and since I know what these are worth, I was totally humbled by the generosity of these ladies.

The left side of the "Pet" cookstove.

With the firebox and oven doors open.  Notice the working
dump grate in the firebox.
 An interesting fact about this particular stove is that someone has built a fire in it at some point.  The inside of the firebox shows black creosote along the walls.

Another interesting feature is that it has a working oven damper.  The lever for the oven damper is best seen in the first picture.  It is located on the front of the stove between the oven door and the reservoir.  In the top picture you can see it in the open position, and in the bottom one it is closed.

A prolonged search of the internet has not yielded information about this particular model of miniature stove, but I suspect that it was made by either the Ideal or Kenton companies around 1900.  The husband/father of the pair of ladies bought it on an auction and was quite pleased with it.  An experienced wood burner himself, he was at our house for a couple of Christmas potlucks and thoroughly enjoyed the Margin Gem cookstove in our kitchen, and I feel quite honored to now have his cookstove as a part of my collection. 

Thank you so much, ladies!

Note on 12/27/17: Further research has uncovered the following link where a similar stove is discussed.


  1. amazing miniature and gift-enjoy-thanks for sharing with all the photos

  2. That is amazing! What a remarkable gift, and so perfect for you!

  3. Your miniature stove is wonderful!

  4. This mini-stove is most likely one of the few remaining, thus rare, salesman's samples of a stove company, or a toy stove. Both are hotly sought-after collector's items and go at auctions for sometimes ridiculous prices. Due to the full functionality I tend to go for "salesman's sample" - what an amazing gift !