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Family Heirlooms

 
 
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2003 06:39 pm
Are there any family heirlooms in your possession? Tell about them and how you came to acquire them.


I don't have any that I can think of. They're all still in the possession of my parents. My brother has a very old but beautifully designed silver pocket watch that belonged to a grandpa we didn't have in our lives for very long. I don't have any memories of him other then in photographs of our first few of holidays as we sat together looking at the pictures in one of my books.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,909 • Replies: 21
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2003 06:44 pm
I don't know if you can call this an heirloom, but....................

When I was twelve, my mother and I had a terrible time clothes shopping. We would get into awful hassles.

We made a deal. She gave me her metal Abraham & Straus chargaplate (that was before credit cards). I would buy what I wanted, within reason. If she did not like something, the deal was that I would return it.

A couple of years ago we were looking through her things, and up popped the chargaplate. I asked her if I could have it, and she agreed. I wear it proudly on my keychain. It has so many memories for me.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2003 07:10 pm
I like that a lot, Phoenix. A dogtag from the wars of shopping!
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Sep, 2003 07:18 pm
Quote:
A dogtag from the wars of shopping!


ehBeth- I love that line. It's a classic! Very Happy
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2003 11:03 am
I have an old compass my grandfather use to use when he was a fishermen. I also have old wooden ciggarette boxes, an old padlock and I'm sure I can come up with others.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2003 11:03 am
I also have an old lamp that belonged to my grandmother.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2003 11:43 am
Well, we have quite a lot of such pieces, most still in use, like e.g.
- a long case clock ('grandfather's clock'), from about 1700,
- a silver (soup) scoop from late 18th century (since 1812, all male heirs have encraved their names in it),
- a davenport from about 1820 (I think, earlier), which is given traditionally to the wife of the male heir,
and some other/newer stuff, like clocks, books, jewellery, tin dishes (from 16 hundred somethig)) etc which iwas given from one generation to the other.
(I'm the last one.)
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2003 11:45 am
I hear you, Walter. My husband and I have both lost both parents, so we've inherited lots of family stuff. Wouldn't know where to start!!!
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2003 12:43 pm
What's the grandfather clock look like, Walter? I've always been fascinated by them but could never afford one.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2003 01:57 pm
The actual clock is of the mentioned age.
The lower case (for the pendules) is from ~1820, I guess ... and 2.80 metres (~ 9 ft) high.
The clock case is rather simple, a bit of ebony and ivory on both sides.
Just strokes the hours, has to be winded up for actual clock and additionally for the 'bell'.

Looks similar to this one, only that the side lines are straight and ours doesn't have two 'doors':
http://www.oldclockshop.ch/Bilder/U0128.jpg
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2003 03:32 pm
Beautiful!

One of my past neighbors was a collector of grandfather clocks and wall-hung pendulum and chime clocks. At one time she must of had close to fifty of them in her small house. I used to time my visits to her right before the hour so I could bask in the sound of all those chimes going off at around the same time. It was a real chore to keep them all wound up on a daily basis.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2003 03:35 pm
1700! Amazing!

Phoenix, how did the chargaplate work? (I love the story and ehBeth's comment, too!)
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2003 03:37 pm
Soz- When you bought something, you just showed it to the sales person, and signed for the item. Actually, if I remember correctly, there was no checking of identity at all. But those were gentler times!
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2003 03:39 pm
Cool! And then your mom got a bill every month, or something?
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2003 03:41 pm
Yup! Very Happy
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2003 03:49 pm
Ah, family heirlooms. Excellent!

I have some jewelry but the thing that always makes me smile is I have iris corms from plants which my great-grandmother grew in Brooklyn. My brother and cousins also have them, so every year very pale blue irises grow in New Jersey, New York, Maryland and here in Mass. I never knew this grandmother (she died before I was born and I am named after her) so I feel a bit of a connection when the irises are in bloom.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Sep, 2003 12:14 pm
We have two golden watches from about 1800.
Both were given to some great-great-great-mother as wedding present, on birth or similar.

Unfortunately the one with the more valuable clockwork has engravings - thus being on about the same price as the other (each at least 3.000$).

The encraved one (my sister will get it) has additionally a hairlock in it: from earlier than 1800 (because the great .... grand-mother died before 1800).



Butrflynet

Your question gave me the idea to photograph the clock (hope, I got it, since its really more than 3 meters high!).
Doing that, I recognized that in my mother's house, there is indeed a lot of stuff in actual use, which is older than 1800 or from about that time (mostly furniture and dishes). (My wife and I just have the "second quality" :wink: here: an art-deco cupboard and one in "classical" style.)
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Sep, 2003 07:36 pm
Walter,

You should consider photographing all of it. I'd hate to think of all that history being lost due to fire or other incident. Take advantage of the opportunity to hear the history of the pieces from your mother.
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Ruach
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Sep, 2003 09:07 pm
One of the oldest heirlooms is a Bible and Hymnal. They are both cute small books. I asked Grandmother for them when I was 12 and she had others because they were common in their day. There is a writing inside the cover from one Aunt to another. Aunts I only heard about with great admiration. The writing is dated Sept 13,1896. The Bible is dated 1895. The Hymnal is dated 1896. I adore it and love having this connection to my ancient Aunts from the South. Also I have an old silver tea set and silverware.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Sep, 2003 11:13 pm
Butrflynet wrote:
Walter,

You should consider photographing all of it. I'd hate to think of all that history being lost due to fire or other incident. Take advantage of the opportunity to hear the history of the pieces from your mother.



They are (mostly) all from my father's site.
And I know -what can be known- quite well already. [I'm a historian myself.]
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