I haven’t written a Found Friday in a while, but I picked up a few vintage and antique items over the holidays, and I wanted to share one of them today.
So, I mentioned in a previous Found Friday post that I seem to have accidentally started a collection of antique and vintage ashtrays. Now, I am not a smoker. I never have been. But you know what ashtrays are good for these days? Holding crystals.
Or jewelry, or dried petals, or other various and sundries. Which, honestly, I’ve got a lot of. And I figure it’s much better to repurpose an old ashtray than to see it thrown out, if it’s generally sturdy, nice-looking, and worth a few extra dollars. I like the idea of taking something associated with a bad habit and giving it a better purpose. I’m really not fond of this new culture of quick construction and disposability that we’ve found ourselves in lately, and I love a piece with a story.
Cut to a random Thursday in December, just before Christmas, and I came across this little curiosity in a shop run by a friend of mine:
It’s cheeky, right? With the cigarette holder in the middle, and the leaf and vine embellishments. It was sitting on a shelf, sort of hidden, and I just happened to spot it. So of course I bought it and brought it home.
The friend who owns the shop suggested that it could be a good paintbrush holder, which I can definitely see. But unfortunately, I don’t paint, so I’m not quite sure yet what it’s use will be. That’s okay, though. I’m not quite sure what my use is some days, either.
I more or less inherited these little decorative plates after my grandmother died. My dad’s mom, that is.
I don’t remember a time when these weren’t hanging over the stove in her kitchen, and I always liked them. Graham had to be convinced to hang them in our house, but I put my foot down. Fond memories make a house a home.
I hadn’t really thought much about them for years until I saw a post over on Suzassippi’s Lottabusha County Chronicles, talking about her fondness for fruit motifs and small town variety. Yet another thing we share, it seems.
I don’t really know much about these plates. There’s no maker’s label on them, other than a sticker that they were made in Japan, and I don’t know where my grandmother picked them up or how long she had them. But they certainly have a place in my house.
Funny, how little things can become beloved heirlooms, isn’t it?
I try not to stop into antique shops very often. Very much like bookstores, I can’t seem to leave them without an arm full of stuff and with a much lighter wallet. But, I made an exception over the weekend. And I’m proud of myself! I only came home with two things.
This darling little glass jar with a monogrammed lid:
(I wonder who it belonged to, what they used it for, and how it came to be in a shop for sale…)
Yes, I know it’s an ashtray, and no I don’t smoke, but I love the floral pattern and the colors. And it goes nicely with another cut glass ashtray I got as a gift many years ago. (And I’ve just realized that it seems I’ve accidentally started an ashtray collection…)
I love collecting old things. I love the stories they tell, and their little chips and imperfections. They remind me of people, I think. Imperfect, but valuable and beautiful nonetheless.