Monday, September 23, 2019

The Daliance With The Past: Antique Collecting and African Americans

As an African American woman, oenophile, wine and food writer, interior design enthusiasts and a collector of  "culinary antiques",  I find myself wondering what my life would have been like during the times these objects were used....  I quickly stop wondering because it kills my "enthusiastic"  quest for knowledge,  and my love for searching for treasures of a bygone era.

 I only get things that I love,  and can actually use. My mindset is to look for beautiful things that were made in the late 1880's until the turn of the century and or up until the Art Deco period. It seems as if I am drawn to them. Maybe it is because life seemed more "civil" or maybe "gentile" at that moment in time. I do however appreciate "vintage" home things as well.

Vintage Wallace Silversmiths Silver plated Lion's head champagne wine bucket.

I may not have liked what was going on politically or socially for a person who looked like me, but the craftsmanship was exquisite at that time! "Beauty" and craftsmanship was the foremost a concern of the day,  as far as objects for the home. The Victorians believed in beauty, as well as utility. They had utensils for everything related to food,  and the serving of food.

Soup ladle circa 1889's. She looks soo young...

A Limoges sauce tureen circa 1800's. Sterling Cream ladle circa 1906.

A silver plated toast rack from England circa 1850-1889. I can not wait to make some toast and use my new found object. I am soo surprised how great these pieces look for their age... I say this all of the time, let me age like an antique!

An image of a portrait of a slave owner and his son, circa 1845 in New Orleans.

The past is always a part of who I am. I embrace my heritage and all that it entails, and I wear it like a coat of honor.  That is why I sometimes look at those objects and think, what would I be doing with them at the time they were being used in their youth... I would probably be serving my master, and now I serve my family and my friends with my treasures.

A lady from New Orleans circa 1800's.  This woman looks just like a lady I know living in New Orleans today. So, you see our past is a part of our present.

And a picture of a lady from New Orleans in the present, me... We are from the same place, but what was her life like back then, compared to how my life is now?  That is why I am soo proud of where I came from. The strength, faith and endurance of those before me,  is embodied in my DNA.

A sliver plated teapot circa 1890's. Her beauty has only gotten better with time.

I share these little treasures of mine because they are beautiful, useful and I hope that they may inspire others to find out what they are truly passionate about. I feel in order to have "joy: one has to be passionate about something. I love helping others in the small ways that I can, and I am quite passionate about being kind. Or passions can be from any genre of things to collect or how we feel about the world around us. But I say, " just be passionate about something!"

My dream is to travel to Paris and Tuscany. I love food, wine, antiques. Tuscany just speaks to my soul. 

I never really speak of what I do for anyone, even a stranger because I feel it "taints" my altruism. But there was a man in a wheelchair. He spoke to me outside of a wine shop. I usually do not entertain people who... well beg. But he was not "begging." Something came over me, it was like God wanted me to help this man. I had a ten dollar bill and two one's. I gave him the ten dollar bill. I just knew in my spirit it was the right thing to do... If I had had more, I would have given it to him. Being kind should be a part of our DNA, but sadly for many, it is not... 

Being kind is truly one of the things in life that is free. I shared this story because I want to promote awareness of the " human condition." We are not independent of just ourselves, but a part of the fabric that makes America great!

So, I create my own joy and try to inspire others along the way. I share tips, recipes, and videos because we learn from all of those mediums. 

I am waiting to make a pot of gumbo so I can use my 1880's ladle,  in my "to be determined age" of my Spode soup tureen. 

And my love of the romantic time of the early 1900's and watching the brief trailers for the movie, " Downton Abby " drew me to this lovely coffee pot. She has not gotten to me yet. She is from the United Kingdom. But her flower finial and gourd - like body reminded me of me... I am full just like her.

Collecting is something that happens over time. It is not free, so we have to sometimes save up and wait to get a treasure. I have gotten antiques for under ten dollars or sometimes less than that. 

Sometimes we are given things by relatives, and we should love them and use them. And we should never be afraid of using our good things, we have to remember they are just "things" and in most cases can be replaced. 

And to end my "dalliance with the past" I say to everyone, do not save things because they are the "good stuff." My dear friend Linda asked me, "Lorrie why do people give their things away for soo little?" I told her because relatives pass away and they are sold! So, enjoy those passed down items, and enjoy the things that will be antiques in a hundred years. 

This is a image of something I would love to have if I were rich. I saw it and said, "If I were rich, you would be mine!" I love champagne, cremants, cavas and all sparkling wines. She would be used every chance I could use her. 

Tip: You can find antiques for a few dollars on eBay, garage sales and at flea markets. Even auctions (which I have not had the pleasure to attend) is another way of procuring antiques. I think the value of an item is measured by how valuable it is to you...

An Antique Sterling Silver French 1800's Wine Chiller that can be yours for about $3,000.00. Again, I always say, I am not wealthy by far, but I am rich in my love for " all things home."

Art Nouveau Sterling Silver Wine Chiller which may have or have not sold for about six thousand dollars ( the above floral motif example). They say, " money can't buy you happiness." I say, "give me a chance to find out!"

And as a homage to my heritage, I share a video of a woman from New Orleans... me,  making my version of " Court Bouillon" which basically is a creole fish stew.  

I hope this post inspires you to express who you are in your daily lives. Living is a gift not afforded to all, so enjoy life to the fullest! I would love for you to leave comments. I try to post content that would be of interest to all of you. 

An image I found years ago of antique corkscrews. 

I will do a mini wine review soon! 

I want to wish my best friend Donna a happy birthday! Her birthday is today, and she is a "treasure" in my life that could never be replaced! She supports all that I do on this blog and my Facebook blog "All Things Home,"  Happy birthday Dee!



No comments:

Post a Comment