Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Legacy.



After my people died, I had the unpleasant task of emptying their quite large Shropshire home. They had managed to squeeze the contents of three houses into one!

A few bits of the furniture were actually mine, but by far the majority was sent off to a saleroom in Shrewsbury where it was sold for a pittance. 

Luckily I had the foresight to keep a couple of bits as keepsakes. My father's small desk, that was a gift from his father, had been part of a set of furniture made specially for him by their local carpenter in Sussex. It comprised of a table and 6 chairs, a sideboard, and the small desk itself; all made in limed Oak. The pieces were destined for his rooms in Milk Street, in The City. Nowadays one would simply head for Ikea.

However, amongst a few small things that I couldn't let go were the above. My father's antique corkscrew, and his almost-antique Owl bottle opener.

I use neither, but they sit at the back of our infamous untidy kitchen drawer waiting patiently. There are certain things that have such strong ties to one's past that they could never be let go; these two are such. 

My own sons have little interest in antiques, but I'd like them to hang on to these.






26 comments:

  1. That owl bottle opener is rather nice. I have the family carving knife and still use it everyday but nothing more.

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    1. Those are the only two things of theirs that I have here. The small desk is in England.

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  2. Those are beautiful treasures, Cro.
    We have a grandfather's clock that was passed down to my husband when his father died. The clock belonged to his grandfather. It is over a hundred years old and has never stopped ticking. My husband winds the clock once a week as his father and grandfather did before him, then my son will take over.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. We also have one. It was made for the family in 1736 (I think), and has stayed in the family ever since. I am simply a guardian of the clock, and it will go to my oldest son for him to pass on to his oldest son, etc. No-one OWNS the clock, it just gets passed on.

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    2. Don,t like the oldest son bit!. Should be oldest child!. Even royalty have stopped the oldest son being next in line to the throne!.
      Guess Trump will be delighted with that!.đŸ˜¢

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  3. My bother got the custard jug, I took home our old trusty cutlery set and a milk jug I remembered from childhood....plus a load of other small things which I enjoy telling my grandchildren 'this belonged to your great grandparent's. No value but sentimental. I love using their heavy old cast iron toasties maker and the casserole dish is perfect for keeping bbqed meat warm.
    One day your children and grandchildren I'm sure will treasure these small things.....and your trusty knife! Just let them know their stories. The knife is famous!

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    1. The famous knife is my everyday eating knife. I use it as a measure; like some people use matchboxes.

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  4. I don't have any large items from the past, but I do have some things the children made when they were younger, which was over thirty years ago, in particular a rickety coffee table made by my son in woodwork class!

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    1. I expect your son will treasure his table in years to come!

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  5. Interesting point Cro. I often think about this. I have my father's penknife, my mother's thimble, my favourite aunt's brooch and one or two things which dear friends have bought me over the years. If I were to pop off suddenly then my son would have no idea how precious they were to me - and even if he did know, would they be precious to him?

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    1. We feel like that about a whole loft-full back in England, as well as our stuff here.

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  6. The most treasured "thing" for me was in fact a farm. I spent so much time there growing up. We (my extended family) were invited to re-visit the farm to spread my mother's ashes. Although it brought back memories, the way the current owners had let it go and not maintained it as my grandmother and uncle meticulously did made the experience a bit upsetting. I do have a few "pieces" from both my mother's side and my father's side. -Jenn

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    1. It's sad to see old homes 'ruined'. My people had a wonderful 44 tree orchard in Shropshire, and the new owner pulled the whole lot out. I was furious.

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  7. I only have my grandmother's prayer books and cracked china teapot, and great grandfather's dibber.

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    1. I like the idea of an inherited dibber. That's real contact with the past.

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    2. I had to look up "dibber." When I had to pick something from the sewing machine drawer before ALL my weaving and accessories went to the art center, I took the dibble. It had been kept there since my grandmother got it from her father.

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  8. I remember finding amongst my grand daughters stuff on her desk, the old wooden cigar box of my grandpa and remembering the smell of the old rover he drove, and my daughter keeping the three brass monkeys - hear, see, nor speak evil.

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    1. You have to keep something; don't you!

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  9. I am absolutely certain that all our collected things will get stuffed into a skip!

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    1. I'm sure lots do. Sometimes I feeling like putting stickers on everything, saying what they're worth!

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  10. Your sons may yet develop such an interest. I have a chest of drawers from 1860 that has now been in my family for 157 years; and paintings and other furniture for at least 50. As they grow older these things will mean more to them, especially if they live in Australia which has large areas that, like Canada, do not benefit from centuries of visible human culture as European villages do.

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    1. I think we're going through a period when antiques are not desired as much as they were. I was brought-up in an age when such things were the height of sophistication; nowadays Ikea wins over almost everything, and really beautiful furniture etc gets knocked down at salerooms for peanuts. Things will change.

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  11. One of the sad things about being an American in Europe is that it very much limited what I could have from my parents -- coming from an old New England family some wonderful old furniture was impossible for me. Surprisingly, most of what I have is from the 'other' side of the family -- small things they were able to bring from the old country to the new -- which have now come back again. One in particular is a small wooden trinket box from Switzerland. It is very ornate, but hand carved and was brought to America in 1870 by my great grandmother and is now on my desk. My grandmother gave me her gold cross, which was given to her on her confirmation and which had belonged to her mother. I like your owl bottle opener very much...

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    1. We should all treasure such things, they are our physical link with the past.

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  12. They both look lovely. The corkscrew is a beaut, to be sure.

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    1. I did once discover its age, but I'm afraid I've forgotten. It comes from the late 1800's. I love it too.

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