30 April 2011

Vintage finds

This weekend is a bit of a change from my typical weekend. I'm not working at the theatre, or hanging around the house. I'm helping my mom sell Depression-era glassware at a local show. My gramma did this for years, and, since she passed away, we've had all her stock sitting around, literally collecting dust. So we set up a booth and are selling it. It's hard, because this was something Gramma did, so it brings back a lot of memories to see her handwriting, and things she touched, but I think she's happy that we're carrying on for her, even with a 5 year hiatus. It's hard work.

One thing that has changed is that dealers are starting to carry vintage table linens. I half-collect old linens; I say half only because I don't want to admit to another collection. I think it's the stitcher in me, and my insane need to preserve someone else's work, like I'd like mine to be preserved. Love and time go into these projects. Stitching on these items is the truest sense of "love is in the details." How better could a woman (I'm assuming women stitched these)love her family to use her precious free time to embroider up an every day object so that her husband or children or friends wouldn't have an "ordinary" towel, or tablecloth to use? And what better way to show they loved her back than to save them. I think it would hard to sell these objects, especially at yard sale prices. Could there finally be an appreciation coming for our handwork? Judging by the response from the attendees, I would say so. They were loving on the hand-made items. So I had to investigate.

My first purchase was this set of 7 tablecloths.

They are hand-embroidered, hand-hemmed, with a crocheted edging. I LOVED that the set was intact--she had a set of kittens, but there were only 4 days represented. I thought it would better to have the entire week.

This is my favorite:

No, I have no idea what I'll do with them, but they were too adorable to leave there. Another dealer asked me if I was buying them because I have small children. Nope, I just wanted them!

Mom found this MAGNIFICENT tablerunner.

It has cutwork, crochet and THE FINEST single-strand cross stitch on linen I have ever seen. You can not tell where the stitcher began and ended her threads. It's STUNNING. Pictures don't do this justice at all. It has a few small stains on it, (but then again, so do most of us), but it's the prettiest piece of needlework I've ever bought. And, incredibly, I paid $15 for this. Could you have left it for that price?

We are having Mother's Day at our house next week, and I have a huge diningroom table, so I'm planning to use this, with the understanding that we're not eating at the dining room table. It's just a pretty, for our two pretty moms! I had been trying to figure out to beautify our table, and this is perfection. I'm so pleased with it, and pleased someone loved it enough to save it all these years. It will have a good home.

Does anyone else collect vintage linens?


ArchangelDecker said...

Congrats on your finds! They are all lovely, but that table runner is flat out gorgeous!

I collect inkwells and dip pens. I have an 18th c. repro of an inkwell that I love very, very much. I have actually used it, but not in a long while. I need to take my handwriting back up, as it is becoming atrocious and I figure that's the way to do it, LOL! :)

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Siobhan said...

Oh my gosh, what beautiful finds! I have bought the few embroidered linens that I've found. I hate to think of all that time and effort not being appreciated.

Bronny said...

What a lovely lot of finds - I have also noticed a lot more vintage linen appearing in collectable tables. I have a half-collection too - I know what you mean by not wanting to admit to another collection.
I hope to think that in years to come, that the items I make will be cherished by the daughters of the family and not flung out.
(What sort of depression glass do you have?? - any pink???)

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls