Friday, April 13, 2012

I Love the Antique Road Show-Part One

Oh how I love the Antique Road Show.  I love the hopes and the often times barely concealed greed glee when a piece turns out to be valuable beyond anyone's expectations.  But mostly I love the stories that go along with the pieces brought in with such pride.  I absolutely love it when someone says, "Well, no, I wouldn't ever consider selling it."  (Okay, my secret hoarder does rear its ugly head from time to time.)  Hush, girls, I do sometimes part with things.

In my family, we trade things.  Within the family that is.  Little things like the suitcase, full of silver trays, that moves from house to house depending on who is hosting a party, the hundred champagne glasses (all but a few at each person's house) kept conveniently in a box for transport, and big things like Tables, Beds, and Dressers. 

Tables.  This little table was made in 1846 out of cherry from an orchard on the family farm by my great-great-great uncle.  He gave it to Sarah Ellen Heatherly, his niece and my great-great grandmother.  She gave it to her granddaughter Ellen Heatherly Trax in 1926.  When great aunt Ellen died, it went to her sister, my great-aunt Mary Heatherly who was a maiden lady.  Great aunt Mary gave it to me in l974 when I had my first daughter and named her Heather Camille.  Although we call her Camille, as the daughter who carries part of the Heatherly name, she will inherit this piece next. The provenance is recorded on the bottom and sides of one of the drawers of this piece of our family history.

A writing desk: that once lived in my bachelor uncle's house.  There it served as an entry table which held the telephone, a beautiful antique green globed brass lamp, and was the command center of my uncle's day.  He read the morning paper there, smoked his first and last cigarette of the day, and telephoned his friends to plan dinner parties and make reservations for dinners out.  After Uncle Bob's death, it was one of the many pieces of furniture, china, lamps, etc. that his brother, Ben, shipped out to Rosalind, Russell and me when Ben, and his wife, Clara, closed the house they had shared with Bob, and moved into a retirement community in Easton, Md.

It was for a time, also an entry table in my Albuquerque house before we moved it to Santa Fe.  I have to admit that I was bit taken aback by my Mother's insistence that I also hang the artwork that Bob had used over it.  I refused.  No shrines for me!  Although my uncle had impeccable taste, it was very masculine. The painting was hung elsewhere.  The heavy glass ashtray was donated and the table, well polished with lemon oil to rid it of the smoke smell, became truly least for awhile.  It has moved three times more as we changed houses.
Now a dressing table in the master bath

If we ever get around to installing the jetted tub specified by the architect, it will move again, maybe to one of daughters' homes or maybe just somewhere else in mine.

Tomorrow, read about what famous person may have set a cocktail down on a library table.

I would love to hear about some of your family, paintings, china, toys, etc. that have a story that goes with them.  There really isn't much room in the comments box and I would love to have a picture of your treasure with the story, so if you feel moved to write something, please email it to me at  If you would rather I did not write about it or post the photo, please let me know that as well, otherwise you might see it at a future date.

1 comment:

  1. Camille's a lucky gal. That's one beautiful table and how wonderful to have that history written in the drawer. I love how the spirals in the legs alternate. Very cool.


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