Tag Archives: Antiques

Family Treasures~Part 5

3 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

 

Last time, I introduced some things that were in my Aunt Jessie’s house. Since she and Granny lived so close to us, I spent a great deal of time at her house. When she died, I wished I could have just taken everything in her house and put it in mine. But then Fred said, “where would we put it?” and I had to let it all go. That’s probably the hardest part of it all – letting it go.

As I mentioned before, Aunt Jessie never married, and so “things” became the focus of her life.

 

Grandpa started her on the road to loving antiques, and she never quit. She would go to estate sales around Albuquerque and pick up what she wanted. Occasionally, I would go with her on these jaunts. She furnished her house with some REALLY good antique furniture. She was, at one time, the President of the Antique Club in Albuquerque. After she died, Mother was given the name of an estate auctioneer that might be of some help to us. He came to Jessie’s house, and his gaze was going from this-to-that the entire time he was talking to us. He finally blurted out: “this is some of the best Victorian I’ve ever seen!” Jessie really knew her stuff.

 

We held the auction – and the auctioneer suggested we hold it in her house, as it was the best setting to showcase what was there, and so we did. He advertised the auction in papers in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and Colorado. From what we understand, there were about 500 people who came for the auction – and they did, indeed, sell everything “down to the carpet.”

While I don’t have any of these antiques in my house now, here are some of the beautiful things Jessie had. We know they are scattered to four winds now, but we hope and pray that everyone who found something, loves and enjoys them as much as she did.

 

All these “things” remind me of my Aunt Jessie, whenever I see them. They might not have been in my parent’s house, but they are still family treasures to me.

Family Treasures~Part 4

26 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

Previous musings have been about items in my family home, and last week I introduced some things that, while near and dear to me, were in my Aunt Jessie’s house. She and my Granny lived about 10 minutes away from us, and they were a huge part of my life – almost daily – for about 10 years. I loved their house as much as I loved ours.

As I mentioned last week, Aunt Jessie never married, and so “things” became the focus of her life. Grandpa started her on the road to loving antiques, and she never quit. She would go to estate sales around Albuquerque and pick up what she wanted. Occasionally, I would go with her on these jaunts. She furnished her house with some REALLY good antique furniture. She was, at one time, the President of the Antique Club in Albuquerque.

Whenever we go to Walt Disney World, and Magic Kingdom, and do the Haunted Mansion ride, I am always struck with the thought that Aunt Jessie would go crazy on that ride, with all the antiques they have in there!! Many of them remind me of some of what she had in her house.

Some of the antiques she had were of interest to me, but not all. I actually thought that most of her antique furniture was rather stiff and uncomfortable. But there were a couple of tables, a lamp, a mirror, and other things that I enjoyed, and have with me today.

There was just something about this pedestal table that intrigued me. And so I adopted it, and have enjoyed it all these years. There was a “ruby” glass lamp that usually sat atop that table, and it has a golden dragon chasing around the ruby globe. I believe that, at one time, it was a oil lamp, but now has been fitted with electricity. Beautiful.

There is a relatively small table that I have always enjoyed, with a marble top. It wasn’t until I had it “appraised” that I was told the top didn’t really go with the table – and realized that it really did not! It is rectangular, as is the table, but the marble hangs off over the corners! Never occurred to me! I’m definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer!

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There is a marble column stand that always stood by the foot of the small staircase in her living room that I always liked. She had a large pot with a plant in it, but I have the stand with another of her antiques on it in my living room. It is a silver-plated dancer, holding a bowl. Just the thing for decorating – which Jessie loved to do, especially at Christmas time.

All these “things” remind me of my Aunt Jessie, whenever I see them. They might not have been in my parent’s house, but they are still family treasures to me.

 

 

 

 

Family Treasures~Part 3

19 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

I’m really having a good time, going back through the “things” that made up my childhood and growing-up years. They bring back such fun memories.

The previous musings have been about items in my family home. Today I would like to introduce some things that, while near and dear to me, were in my Aunt Jessie’s house. She and my Granny lived about 10 minutes away from us, and they were a huge part of my life – almost daily – for about 10 years. I loved their house as much as I loved ours.

Aunt Jessie never married, and so “things” became the focus of her life. Grandpa started her on the road to loving antiques, and she never quit. She would go to estate sales around Albuquerque and pick up what she wanted. She furnished her house with some REALLY good antique furniture. She was, at one time, the President of the Antique Club in Albuquerque.

As I’ve mentioned before, Aunt Jessie, Granny, and my Mother, all worked in the Rochester Handkerchief Factory in San Antonio, Texas, at one time or another. Mother told me that, eventually, Mrs. Rochester discovered that it was actually cheaper to go to Ireland for the fabric, take it to China for the cutwork, and then bring it to the United States to sell. They actually made a bigger profit by doing that. Unbelievable to me.

In any case, while in China, Mrs. Rochester would pick up items that she wanted – and that Aunt Jessie would like to have, and have them shipped back to the U.S. I’ve mentioned before about the hand-carved camphor chests.

One other thing that she brought to Jessie, that I have always loved, were Chinese scenes, formed/carved from cork. They have always fascinated me. And so, when Jessie died, I took two of those pictures, and they now hang on our guest bedroom walls. And they still fascinate me.

They might not have been in my parent’s house, but they are still family treasures to me.

 

 

 

 

 

Family Treasures~Part 1

5 Jun

 

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

 Sometimes, the things you grow up with, just don’t seem like anything special.   They are just “there”….part of the woodwork. I’ve found that, not until I got older – and left my girlhood home – did those “things” become important to me. When my Aunt Jessie died, we had an estate auction – at her house. The auctioneer said that, with all the antiques she had, her house was the perfect setting for the auction. They sold everything “down to the carpet.”

Of course, there were some things that each of us wanted that was hers. I took some things that were special to me, as did my brother and my mother.

But when my mother died, my brother and I took things of mothers that she had taken to the apartment where she and my step-father lived. Not a whole lot was left of my girlhood home, but we did get a few things. Some things have ended up in our daughters houses, as well as with our niece and nephew.

There were a couple of mirrors that I especially wanted to keepsake, and I’m glad I did. Growing up, there was a gilt-edged mirror over the mantel of our living room fireplace. Of course, to a child, it seemed huge! Here are a couple of pictures of that particular mirror.

 

Since Fred and I didn’t really need a mirror that size, our oldest daughter said she would like to have it. That was a joy to me, that she would want something that was a part of my family history – a family treasure. I am reminded of my childhood home every time I see that mirror.

And so, Karen and her husband acquired that mirror and it now hangs above the mantel over their living room fireplace. Here is a picture of that mirror in its new home.

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Brian (son-in-law) had always enjoyed the mirror, but had no idea of its significance to our family. As we were discussing it with him one day, I mentioned that it had been in my girlhood home until mother and my step-father sold the house and moved into an apartment. His reaction was priceless! “It wasn’t just some mirror you found to give to us?” No, it was in my family from the time I could remember until you acquired it. He said that it meant a great deal more to him, now that he knew that particular mirror had family history to it. I think he enjoys it more now, because of that family treasure.

There is another mirror that is a treasure of mine. This is a mirror that was in my bedroom as I was growing up. I always enjoyed the fact that the outer “rim” was small pieces of mirror – mirror tiles. It was so pretty. Unfortunately, by the time that mirror made its way with us around the country and world, a lot of those little mirror tiles had broken off and were lost. So I had more mirrors replaced, but just a solid piece of glass instead. It’s still pretty – and it still hangs in our guest room – but I miss the uniqueness of those little mirror tiles. However, it’s still a great reminder to me of my childhood – and it’s still a part of my current life. I like that.

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My Aunt Jessie~Part 2

24 Nov

Sunday Memories

Judy Wills

JUDY

My Aunt Jessie…..the only “auntie” that I was close to.  There was only her and my mother on that side of the family.  Of course, my dad was one of 13 children, so I had lots and lots of cousins.  But they were all in Texas or Louisiana….or SOMEwhere else.

Because Jessie never married, she became the breadwinner of the family after her father died, and

Grannie's Favorite Chair

Grannie’s Favorite Chair

Granny lived with her. And because she never married, her security became the things she owned.  She became an expert in antiques.  Her love of antiques started when my grandfather purchased – for $5.00 – a beat-up old chair frame for her.  She refinished and re-upholstered that chair, and it became the first of many antique items that filled her house and her life.  It became Granny’s favorite chair.

She had several love seats.  She had a coffee table that was magnificent – it was quite large and the top (covered with glass) was one solid piece of mahogany.  Beautiful.  (One family story goes that a large slab of wood fell off a train and someone – Grandpa? – found it, took it and made it into that coffee table.

She had an antique pump organ, and Victrola.  Mother said Granny always loved to have music around the house.

She had curio cabinets.  She had one piece of solid cherry wood that was a china cabinet.  The top had glass doors through which you could see the lovely antique tableware she had found.

She was always on the lookout for estate sales, and shopped at as many of them as she could.  She found wonderful sales, and was able to purchase many good things at great prices.  At one time, she was the president of the Albuquerque Antique Club.  Her house was large enough to accommodate all of her purchases, and she had a gift for placement of her pieces.  As we prepared to have an “auction” of her household items, the auctioneer looked around, and said, “This is some of the best Victorian furniture I’ve ever seen!”

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Unfortunately, Jessie never thought any of us wanted anything of hers.  Because none of us had expressed an interest in any of her things, some time before she died I suggested we should all make a list of her things we wanted, and give it to her.  If there was a duplication in “wishes” – hers was to be the final decision.  She was quite delighted to see how much we loved her things, after all.  And, I must admit that, after I had made my “list,” I finished it with the statement that we would rather have HER in our lives than anything of hers….but that we loved her and wanted to have keepsakes of her.

Aunt Jess’s Plates

21 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

My Aunt Jessie was quite an interesting person. She was my Mother’s only sibling, and was what we used to call an “old maid.” She never married, and my granny lived with her. And because Jessie didn’t have children of her own, she rather doted upon my brother and myself. Most of the time that was a good thing….sometimes it got me into trouble with my parents.

She was an excellent bookkeeper. I have pictures from an album she put together that showed her with friends from “E.B.S.” which I took to be Enid (Oklahoma) Business School. She and my mother both were taught penmanship and had beautiful handwriting.

She and Granny moved to Albuquerque in 1952, into a wonderful house that I loved. I think I spent nearly as much time there as I did at my own house. It was only about 10 minutes away from our house.

She worked as the bookkeeper for an office supply company in downtown Albuquerque for many years. But, looking toward retirement, she thought she might open up a “collectibles” store, and began purchasing collectible plates and figurines. She had flowers, and especially Norman Rockwell scenes.

1After she retired from bookkeeping, she just never really did get that store up and running. But she had – literally – hundreds of plates! They were still in their original boxes (a must for collectors!), and were in very good shape. But she really loved those plates, and rather pined over them. After Granny died, all she had left were her “things” to give her pleasure. So my Mother took many of the plates and hung them all around on Jessie’s dining room walls. There were flowers and Norman Rockwell all around.

After Jessie died, we were encouraged to take of hers what we wanted. I had enjoyed quite a few of the plates, myself, and have them today.2

Jessie got quite a chuckle out of the one I liked that was of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow – you

3remember – the one who supposedly started the great Chicago Fire?

But one that I especially enjoyed was a comfortable scene of an older couple, seated together on a couch, feet on footstools, with a cat laying before them. It reminded me so much of Fred’s parents, that I gave it to them. They hung it in their home for many years. As a matter of fact, our youngest daughter had asked, “why are Grandma and Grandpa on that plate?”

When they down-sized into an assisted-living facility, they gave the plate back to me. I have it now hanging on the wall, just above a picture of Fred’s parents. The resemblance is really remarkable.4

When Fred’s sister and her husband came to visit once, I mentioned this story and showed them the two – plate and picture. Their comment was “oh my!” They couldn’t believe it either – it was as if Fred’s parents had modeled for Mr. Rockwell!

My brother took some of the plates, but most of them were sold at the estate sale we held following Jessie’s death. We just didn’t have room for all those plates. Just another piece of my history that I wish I had room to keep.

 

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