Saturday, October 13, 2018

Old House Things

Photos by Salt Water New England
























28 comments:

  1. Marvelous. How I do love old houses. The rock steps lead us ever upward, to where, who knows? And the library? Be still my heart. What wonderful images. Thank you for this respite.

    The Concord Diaspora

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  2. So beautiful. So calming. Thank you.

    MaryAnne

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  3. This reminds me of a visit to my grandparents' house -- old wood, old books, old prints, even the old black telephone. All that's missing is the stack of Yankee magazines and the Farmer's Almanac.

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  4. I read an article today ( I can't remember where) about how collectibles, family heirlooms and antiques are no longer desired by young people who live in small homes furnished with trendy disposable furniture and fashion. As I glanced at your photographs, all I could think about is what will happen to the items in the photos and how fortunate I am to have my family's heirlooms- their stories and their history that date back 200 years in some cases. I even treasure my great grandmother's cookbooks and refer to them often. Maybe young folks don't know what makes a house a home and if they do, don't care. Maybe I'm just a grumpy middle aged nostalgic woman. Still, I wonder if they will one day regret sending their family heirlooms to the thrift store? I believe they will.

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    1. Sadly, I'm in agreement with you. I've seen it in my own family and children and friends' families. I love old things, but many now see them as stuffy and boring. I think the items in these photos will end up in a thrift store and people like yourself and myself, and others on this site, will pick them up for a song. I don't want my home cluttered, but I do appreciate the history from my past. Thanks for these wonderful photos.

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    2. From what I see there are some very authentic, rare/$$$$ pieces here- think it is a shop....

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    3. The article you read is correct. They don't want it. And stuff you think has value, well, hold on to your hat. Crystal stemware and glasses we paid over $100 apiece for I can buy all day long for $10 at the local second hand store. And the stuff four generations of our families spent lifetimes accumulating we just spent three years getting rid of. No one wanted it, and now that it is gone I am happy to be rid of it. Sorry. A different perspective. Nice to visit it though through your photos.

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    4. The heirlooms are an incredible privilege - my grandparents,like millions in their generation and subsequent generations, were refugees and had nothing when they came to America. Your comment short sightedly implies that heirlooms make a house a home. While the heirlooms depicted above are lovely, they don't make a house a home- love and respect like that my parents each knew growing up, and passed onto my siblings and I, does. I wish we had some of those beautiful paintings, china, and rugs, but I assure you our childhoods were no worse for the lack of those luxuries. I'll be proud to pass on the values I grew up to the next generation, even though I'm not lucky enough to ever pass on the little they owned.

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    5. K brings up an interesting counterpoint. On my father’s side, they were WWII refugees so heirlooms were limited to a few items grabbed as the Russians rolled into town. My father spent his life in the US in a hoarder mentality.

      On my mother’s side, there were four generations of people that kept everything.

      I spent years giving away/throwing away stuff. Heirlooms can be equal part legacy and burden. How many silver ice teaspoons, family bibles, grandfather clocks should one be expected to keep?

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    6. This might more of a problem given that people are having less children. Back in the day, when families had 4-5 or even 11 in the case of the Kennedys, there would definitely be takers for many items. Between me and my younger brother, I think there might be a little too much, but if I had two or three more siblings, that would be very different.

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  5. I hope all had a good visit and you brought home something interestingly great. Loved the wall mount/tabletop brass candle stick, the Lacrosse stick, the high-backed handmade chair is divine. The telephone looked straight out of James Herriot Veterinary practice. Best of all was the photograph of the laughing children perched on the rock wall with the menagerie of pets. Even the beautiful rainbowed bits of sunlight on the wallpaper are appreciated. What a treat. Thank you for posting/sharing- it was savored more than once.

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  6. Love that phone. I would like to swap out our cordless for something useful like that one.

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  7. What wonderful images. Thank you do very much!

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  8. THANK YOU. IT WAS A PRIVILEGE TO VISIT THIS POST. ANNE

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  9. Wonderful images! Looking at them also took me back to my maternal grandparents' restored field stone house in Berks County, Pennsylvania where I spent the bulk of my formative years. How I miss it. As luck would have it though, my 70-something mother is passing down a few select family pieces to us next summer, once the spring semester ends and I can go get them, including a dry sink made by my grandfather and a green two-person "love bench" (for want of a better term). My grandmother had the latter item painted in the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch style 40+ years ago by a Mr. Hildebeitel, who was in his 80s or 90s at that time. The bench always sat at one end of her living room. We're also getting the jelly cupboard that held various things (besides jellies and jams) in their large kitchen plus a large walnut cabinet that my grandfather made with wood from their place. I, for one, cannot wait to have these old, fusty things in our suburban home built in 1985. . . It desperately needs some character.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

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    1. Yes Heinz-Ulrich, it is indeed character! Character is the story behind the stuff. Modern stuff has no story and quite frankly, I think it contains bad karma ( greed, slave wages) Perhaps it's those of us who enjoy and appreciate history that value items with a provenance. Both of my grandparents were amateur fine artists and they would take art classes when they traveled or wherever they were living. I have my grandmother's porcelain bisque pottery and my grandfather's sketches and oil paintings- including one he made of their home. While sifting through a pile of grandfather's papers, I found a botanical journal, complete with sketches, that spanned 40+ years that he kept about the flora in all the places he visited. I was elated because I am a horticulturalist and I will make certain that his notes end up where they will be appreciated. Some of those plants are now extinct. My violin is quite old and although it isn't a family heirloom, she has a history from the old country. For goodness sake, PBS has aired the Antiques Road Show for how many years now? 20+? So, we are not alone. The History Channel has the Pickers show that I enjoy as well. I often hear Mike and Frank talk about how all the valuable stuff is becoming harder to find so buy it while you still can and while it is affordable! They love their scouting trips to New England. My family is from New England but I grew up in Middleburg, VA and I can remember my parents going to a tiny hole in the wall auction house and purchasing beautiful antiques for pennies on the dollar simply because the former owner's family didn't realize the quality and value. There were probably many places just like that in PA.
      It's interesting how a few photographs have conjured up so many memories...and that's a good thing :D
      Cheers!
      Elizabeth

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    2. Each piece has a story, thus begins somewhere by someone in some time frame- that is how it gets made… To mistakenly label something “bad” when you are not aware of actually facts; who, what, where, why and when of each piece may be a downfall, missing of great things in life.

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    3. I think one of the nicest things about this particular blog is that is enables people of (generally) like minds to find each other, share pleasant memories, and exchange ideas. That is far from a bad thing in our otherwise largely fleeting and crass era.

      Best Regards,

      Heinz-Ulrich

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  10. I have two sons, 21 and 19. I wonder what will happen to all of our cool stuff both from previous generations of family and things we acquired over the years that look as though they could have been inherited. I think one of them wants everything and the other wants nothing. Kids. What are you gonna do?

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    1. At least they won't fight over anything! I'll bet when they get to be in their 40's and 50's and full of memories they will both feel a bit more nostalgic about your family heirlooms. Not everything that I wanted had any monetary value. My grandfather kept a Campbell's soup can pencil holder that I made for him in the 1st grade on his desk through his entire career. It was covered in that awful green tempera paint with silver sparkles on it that spelled ' Grandpa'. I remember my teacher holding it up and telling the class how ugly it was and how my grandfather would be ashamed to use it. Years later I found professional photos of him in a national journal at his desk in his formal office and my soup can was right there! I now have that soup can on my desk.
      Elizabeth

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    2. Here's to soup can pen and pencil holders! Similarly, my mother still has my clunky ceramic turkey, made in late October or early November 1974 in a 2nd Grade art class for Thanksgiving. How it did not explode the two times Mrs. Pietro fired it in the school kiln, I'll never know. But it didn't, and Mom still has it on the desk in her studio all these many years later. I guess I'll get it back one day.

      Best Regards,

      Heinz-Ulrich

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    3. Yup, I still have my soup can pencil holder on my own desk that my daughter made for me when she was about six. It's covered in plain yellow paper with a horse drawn on it and the words mom all over it. It was a Mother's Day gift about 40 years ago. One of my prize possessions. And, yes, I'm sure she'll get it back one day also.

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  11. Love the Cape Cod Wind and Weather Indicators. The only ones to own. Also love the Sub Chaser half-hull model.

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  12. It's a different aesthetic - here in California, "shabby chic" is big. Well appointed houses have an eclectic mix of old & new seemingly just thrown together - the key word is seemingly. ;) We are supposed to be laid back and cool on the West Coast - send all that stuff that your kids don't want over here.

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  13. I love all this "old" stuff". One of my dreams, since I was a young child, has been to someday have a store that deals in these types of vintage items, formally utilitarian, which can now be used in a decorative capacity, also beautiful old books. Alas, living in NYC where the commercial rents are so high, it will have to wait until I move ::sigh::

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  14. I made the big mistake this morning of reading a British tabloid article all about the newly announced pregnancy of Meghan the newly minted Duchess. The article described how the news was announced during Princess Eugenie's wedding celebrations, making the point of a perceived lack of social courtesy. The comments were in the thousands and I must have read them all. I began to feel decidedly unhinged, miserable, and in need of a significant dose of decorum, dignity, security and - the thing that works like magic every time - old house things. You cannot imagine my joy when, having fled to the safe haven of SaltWaterNewEngland.com, my eyes came upon those very words, that very healing balm. Bless you, Muffy. May I never stray into Tabloid Town again.

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  15. Over the past forty plus years we have purchased almost all our furniture at estate sales here in Maine. We'd go to them with my mother-in-law and her sister-in-law, who shared their thoughts about value, bidding discipline and quality. It's educational, enjoyable and the furniture has patina and grace. Now our children are going to the sales and learning from my wife as they set up housekeeping. My grandmother gave me the Chelsea clock and barometer for college graduation but my wife doesn't care for the ticking and chiming of the ship's bells. I can't wait for my retirement workshop/'grotto' to be finished so I can set them going again! When my mother passed away all my brothers and sisters and their children eagerly took turns choosing from among the many elegant and cherished items she had in her home. It was wonderful to see how well-mannered and agreeable the next generation was as they appreciated it all. Interestingly my mother cast a provision in her will that paid for all furniture, etc., would be shipped to wherever the children and grandchildren lived. That was very generous and thoughtful of her.

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  16. Such an uplifting post, and with such beautiful images.

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