Friday, August 19, 2011

The summer of china, crystal, and cabinets

At the beginning of the summer, the step-father-in-law decided it was time to divvy up the mother-in-law's (a.k.a., the husband's mother's) separate property, some five years after her death.  It was kind of an odd, disorganized sort of distribution, but, fortunately, I was not really directly involved.

When the dust settled, the husband brought home a beautiful antique armoire with boxes of crystal and china to fill it, along with a needlepoint foot stool in dire need of repair, and a lovely oval table that will surely be subject of a future post.  There was so much stuff in the boxes, I spent at least half a day washing it all for the girls to pick through and choose what each of them would like to add to their respective hope chests. As the husband's inheritance, it all goes directly to the girls, I am just the custodian.

In any event, after everything was cleaned and other furniture moved from the foyer, the armoire and its contents found a home.


Obviously, the wall color was not chosen for that particular piece, but there were few places to put such a large piece in a house already full of furniture.  The older daughter has called dibs on the cabinet, as well as on a dozen plates and a large oval platter by Johnson Bros in Harvest.  This belonged to the maternal grandmother's mother.


(To be honest, while I thought the plates were pretty, I did not think much of them at the time.  Now that I looked them up on the internet for this post, I see her platter is worth $400...)

As the summer wore on, we received a call from the husband's 93 year old maternal grandmother.  While originally from Tallulah, Louisiana, she and her second husband had moved to the valley (i.e., McAllen, Texas) to live in a retirement community a dozen or more years ago.  They were actually Winter Texans, spending their summers in an RV in Montana.

Well, at 93, I guess you just get tired.  The grandmother and her husband stopped making the annual trips to Montana a couple of years ago.  With the oppressive heat of South Texas and advancing age, they have finally decided to move to an assisted living facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to be closer to family.

Last month the husband drove down to the valley to help them pack up.  Before he left down there, he picked up a U-Haul and brought back a large china cabinet his grandmother wanted me to have.  Again, the contents were included.

There were a couple of lovely pieces of Haviland china, several different tea sets, and a large assortment of Spode "Cowslip" that probably represents her wedding china.  The grandmother was born in 1918.  I think she married when she was about twenty.  The china is pushing seventy-five.  The younger daughter, affectionately referred to as Wee One, called both the china cabinet and the Spode.


While not nearly as "valuable" as the Harvest china, Wee One calculated she has about $1,100 worth of Spode.  She is a happy camper.

The china cabinet did not make it into the dining room.  It is not my favorite piece of furniture.  In fact, it spent several weeks in the garage until I figured out what to do with it. However, I am pleased to report it has found a new home, too.







Were it really "mine," I would have sanded it down and painted a soothing shade of something.  The husband insists his grandmother wanted me to have it, but it belongs to Wee One.  The only thing I did to alter it was remove a pair of hulking gothic-like handles from the lower doors.  I will eventually replace them with something more appropriate.  Although they are obstructed by yarn and project bags, the shelves are heavy glass.  The side pieces are curved glass and actually quite nice.





The curtains still need to be made, and it looks like I could do a much better job of those cords under the desk, but I am enjoying the sleek new desk chair I got for my birthday!

I am spoiled, seriously spoiled.  My dog and I love this room!

Yes, my favorite yarns have new digs to languish in, but what of the Spode?

Hmmm.  What of the Spode?

That has yet to be decided.


No dinner parties until the Spode is neatly packed away...

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