Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Art of Collecting

The Art of Collecting

This book was a gift from my dear friend Audrey who resides in  New Orleans.  The book is entitled,  "the epicurean collector, by Patrick Dunne with the Editors of Southern Accents.  It is a lovely book filled with soo much information for those who collect things for the home, notably "culinary antiques." The photographs are by Charles E. Walton IV. The photography is very beautiful in this lovely and educational book. She had the author sign the book for me. She gave this to me in 2009 when I returned to my place of birth and home for most of my life, the city of New Orleans.

 Hurricane Katrina was the catalyst for my evacuating/moving to West Little Rock, AR.  But our son Evan, who was almost nine years old then, was one of the main reasons we stayed. He needed the services of Little Rock in order for him to be the best that he can be due to Autism. Plus, there is a "quietness" that gives me peace, no matter what is going on in my life in this new,  or not so new place I now call home. I have lived here ever since Hurricane Katrina, and at the end of August it will be fourteen years.

It seems the older I get, the more I appreciate things that have a past. As human beings we all have a past, and if we are blessed enough we can live to tell our stories. Antiques also have a past. I enjoy imagining where they lived, who served from them, what was the party like, and ultimately, was it loved.

This antique "Claret Jug" seems to be circa early 1900's. I saw it,  and "willed" it to be mine. Sometimes we see things and have an "immediate" connection to them. This is the case and point of this jug that was procured from ebay.

I am in no way rich; I am rich in spirit. A lot of people feel only "wealthy" people are "collectors." Not so... I think people "sacrifice" to obtain items.... period!  That is why I am always happy for others when they obtain the "desires of their hearts." 

I have always been a member of the club that's philosophy is,  " if you buy things that you love, they will work well together." And for some reason, I have fallen in love with items from the early 1900's. I try not to imagine what my life would have been like in 1918, the year my maternal grandmother was born. But I would have loved to take a peak into the glamorous parties of the " Gilded Age."  

I got the "collecting bug" earnestly from my grandmother, who we lovingly called "Nonnie."  My Nonnie would make my mama get up early on some weekends to attend "estate sales." She always knew where to find wonderful finds on a budget. I am so blessed to have gotten that "gene" from her.

 When my beloved claret jug arrived, I carefully and lovingly looked at it. All I could do is think about what my Nonnie would say about my beautiful find. I think she would smile at me, and tell me, " I did good."  The difference between my Nonnie, mama and me is, that I use my things. Life is not promised to any of us. So while I am here, I will look at my flowers ( smell my beloved lilies), use my "finds" and enjoy my life. 

I am awaiting this silver plate cold meat fork. The pattern is supposed to be from the early 1900's. It is Reed and Barton "Festivity", aka "Tiger Lilly."  Based on the picture from ebay, "Tiger Lilly" would have been the most appropriate name for the flatware. There is something "beautiful" and "sensuous" about the "Lilly."  The shape and smell of them is ultra feminine to me. It is almost like me in a flower form, wanting to evolve in my own way. The Lilly takes its own sweet time to open up, and show her true beauty, just as I feel a woman should. But the shape of this flower has a sense of "artful freedom",   which I find refreshing. 

This fork was about $10.00, but to me it is "priceless." I am hoping the silver plating is intact, and all I have to do is wash it,  in "really" warm soapy water and rinse it with hot water and dry it!  I am going to use this antique fork for any sliced meat or even fried chicken on a platter. 

Beautiful objects were made for us to use, and believe me I practice what I preach.  I used to hear older ladies in New Orleans say, " I only use this for company, baby..." I say, I am my best company first and foremost! 

Well, I hope that you enjoyed this post, and the wine that is in the claret jug is Francis Coppola 2016 Black Label Claret.