I was just catching up with some of the blogs that I follow and I came across the Textures of My Home Challenge on Grammy Linda's Behind My Red Door blog. Carolyn of Primitive Devotion challenged other bloggers to show the textures of their homes in pictures! What a great idea! I will be running around the house for the next few days taking pics and then trying to decide which ones to display! I am already thinking of the different textures around my home that I would love to capture!
This has also made me think about not only the textures of the antiques that I own but their history, be it a small piece of yellowware or pewter or even a piece of furniture. Every time I open the door of one of my antique pieces of furniture or use an antique small for display or add another piece to a collection, I think of the previous owners and how they loved them and used them when they weren't 'antiques' but just a part of their home and lives.
I have a small chest that I bought at an antique show last spring that is one of those pieces that I think was well loved before it was an 'antique'. We were at a show in Maryland this last spring at the Howard County Fairgrounds. We had never been to this show and as we walked in the door to the first building, I had this feeling of Oh no! one of those shows where the prices are outrageous and everyone is acting like "these are great prices - if I just had room in my house for one more thing"! So, we walked around anyway - thinking how much money we could probably get for our antiques at home! and decided to look at the items being offered not as something that we wanted to buy, but as if we were just there to observe. There were some wonderful pieces - and some not so wonderful - but we chalked the experience up to a nice time out and about for the price of admission to the show. We did find the cool little black wall cupboard now hanging in our greatroom, but it wasn't an Ah! Ha! moment or a 'little treasure' moment. It was raining when we walked back out and we were undecided about whether or not we wanted to check out the other building. We decided that looking at the other dealers couldn't hurt and we didn't want to go home without checking out all of the stuff for sale, so...on we went. The second building was small and dark and cold! The dealers were grumbling and upset that they were not in the 'good' building, and some were (rightly so!) worried about what the weather was doing to their antiques. We had just walked through the booths and were ready to leave when I got that Ah! Ha! feeling, but I didn't know why! I told my husband that we had to go back through one more time and this time we needed to concentrate. Something had hit my eye but I didn't know what!
He is used to my 'little spells' and figured that I probably had really had seen something worth while looking at again. We walked back through, this time looking at each booth closely and slowly. The lighting was bad and it was raining harder now, but this time around, someone moved and I saw, believe it or not - in a shaft of light, the reason that I came to this show. It was sitting on a table underneath a little single shelf unit that had some antique smalls on it and it was in almost complete darkness, but I saw the wooden knobs and then as I got closer, I saw the red paint! I asked the dealer if I could bring this little three drawer chest out into the light and that was it! This was why we had come and why we had stayed even though we were sure that the trip had been a waste of time! I checked out the dovetailing on the sides of the drawers,
the area around the knobs to check to see if they were original (and they were) and the insides and undersides of the drawers and the entire piece. It was original and gorgeous! I haggled with the dealer and I could tell she did not want to sell this little beauty because she was more interested in what I was going to do with the piece (was I a dealer and would it be resold) and not worried as much about haggling about the price. I told her the story of coming to the show and how disappointed we were - then the decision to go to the second building and the need to walk back through because I knew there was a treasure hidden somewhere in that buildng. Needless to say, she sold me the little chest and I would love to show her that it has pride of place in our living room and is now one of my most favorite pieces, but she no longer had a shop and this little chest was from her home. So, if you are out there and somehow read this blog - Thank you so much for parting with your treasure! It is loved and treasured in our home and makes me smile every time I see it. It is all original, down to its wonderful tray back and original knobs. I think was probably used for small trinkets on a dresser or maybe used to hold papers on a desk. I don't know, but I do know that it was lovingly made and was lovingly treasured for probably over 150 years and will be treasured by us for many years to come!
Watch for my next post when I show the 'Textures of My Home'!