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The Things That Take Us Back

One of the reasons we all love antiques is the way they take us back. That “back” may be our own childhood or scenes we conjured up from the stories told by the older ones in our families or circle of friends. Here are some antiques, all from our readers, that may “take you back”, too.

Our thanks go to Judith, Luke, Colleen and LauraLou for sharing these photos, and the stories, with us all.

from: Judith Iverson: “This machine still works!”

Many of us remember the old treadle sewing machines from days gone by. Many of us learned to sew on them…and came close to sewing through our fingers. We remember, too, the crocheted doilies that lent grace, the oil lamps that brought a soft light, the sewing boxes that were always kept close.

from: Luke Kawecki: “These are very old instruments: 1853 , Prince Melodeon, 1840 Flutina, 1915 Mandolin Harp.”

Before television and online preoccupation, music was an important part of family and social life. Many of us had grandparents who could play the piano or organ, a violin, a flute, an auto-harp or any of many kinds of instruments.

from: Colleen Fields: “saw this bench at a local second hand store- the leather cushion is filled with hay.”

Many of us remember the pieces from old parlor sets, often in Eastlake design, that were covered in leather or painted canvas. They often were stuffed with horsehair, linsey wool, straw or any of an amazing assortment of natural materials—even corn husks. Some pieces would have metal springs that seem to find their way through the stuffing material…discouraging, as our grandmother would say, a visitor from sitting too long. 🙂 Prosperous families, or those with a nice flock of geese or ducks, would order or make comfortable top cushions with the down and feathers. Settees like this do take us back to the days when we might have gone “calling” with grandparents and were required to sit still on a straw filled settee.

from: LauraLou Anderson Bashlor: “My Grandfather made this copper teakettle in the roofing shop where he worked. It was presented to my Grandmother as the first gift from him for her hope chest in way of a proposal.”

There doesn’t seem to me much more that can “take us back” better than the kitchen tools that were used by our families in days long ago. It’s especially meaningful when we have the stories. Those that were handmade have a special appeal. They are evidence of love…and a desire to show skill. LauraLou’s teakettle is amazing not just for it’s very good design and workmanship, and for the use of copper, but that her Grandfather recognized the importance of practicality and showing his ability to make useful things in a beautiful way. It carries a wonderful story.

Keep the memories alive. Tell the stories.

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