My grandmother referred to them as hope chests more often than cedar chests. She had several and I remember always being told that one of them would be mine one day and another one would be my cousin’s. She gave me mine many years ago. This week my aunt gave me another one. We don’t recall if this cedar chest belonged to my grandmother or her sister. Soon my daughter will be taking this one to her house. This is large one with lots and lots of room for some of our beautiful heirloom quilts. With its moon and stars we have a visual reminder that our family loves us to the moon and back.
My other heirloom cedar chest:
Several years ago my great aunt Lillian Lineberry gave me one of her decorative knick knacks. The back says Lefton China hand painted Reg U.S. Patent Office 2440. According to How to Collect Lefton China, “in 1955 the company began using the Lefton China name on all pieces, with a crown above the name, which is still used today.”
Many of the Lefton China items made in the 1950’s were whimiscal and designed purely to sit on the living room shelves, which seems to fit this piece. The violin ashtray measures 9″ x 4″ and I imagine it has only been used as a decorative piece.
Last week my brother-in-law gave us some pieces of a Noritake Bluebell pattern 5558 that he said were family heirlooms. My mother-in-law’s brother sent this to her as a wedding gift in 1954 from Guam, where he was stationed. Originally the set included a large bowl with a lid like a casserole dish and many, many pieces but over the years and moves only the equivalent of a tea set remains. According to a website where you can purchase replacements, the pattern was made from 1954-1971.
The teapot is quite adorable so I displayed it on our kitchen counter. Both my son and daughter noticed it immediately when they came over and commented on how cute it is.
This evening, I decided to use the teapot, cups and saucer. My daugther poured the coffee then we settled down with our coffee & cookie dough to watch Dexter.
Finding the right vase for a bouquet of flowers is difficult in my house. I have several vases that came with flowers that I received from a florist but they are either too short, too tall or the opening is too big or too small (sounds like Goldilocks’ plight). However, as I was dusting all the knick knack shelves I have yesterday, I realized that I have a very important vase that is fairly tall with a small opening that is a good size for the bouquet I bought Friday.
My Grandma Billings gave the vase to me and told me that it was what her coworkers gave her when she retired from the Streets department store. She said is was kind of expensive. I see no markings on it to be able to research it at all. It is pretty, sentimental and ‘just right’.
It’s not locked and I don’t have the key. For as far back as I can remember my paternal grandparents had this cedar chest and told me that it would be mine ‘when I was older’. They had another cedar chest for my cousin that looked entirely different (prettier in my mind) and they also told her she could have hers when she was older. Surprisingly, I don’t remember when they gave mine to me; perhaps after we moved back to Oklahoma in 1981 and lived closer to them.
I’ve been keeping important things in my cedar chest. Things like my mother’s high school prom dress, her wedding dress, my graduation cap & gown, letters I’ve saved, my kids’ baby blankets, etc. Now, I’ve found other places to store those items and have decided to take my cherished cedar chest to our lake place because I think the style will fit better there and hopefully I can safely keep linens in there and away from insects.
Time mostly stands still on this wall that Keith calls our ‘wall of mortality’. Several years ago when we bought new living room furniture I also tried to find a nice piece of artwork for our wall but just never liked anything. One day Keith suggested we create our own artwork out of our small collection of clocks, which are mostly heirlooms or wind-up alarm clocks. I thought that was a good idea so Keith made the shelves to display this collection.
Below are links to other posts I’ve written on a few of the timepieces.
Last fall Keith restored his great Aunt Jane Dunaway’s secretary and tonight he put a plaque on it identifying it. It’s been in the family since Dr. Jane bought it in Noble, Oklahoma circa 1909. She probably used it during her medical practice. Now, we keep old family items in the bookcase portion and wines in the desk portion.
For photos of the before restoration and some history of the piece visit my other blog to read about Dr. Jane’s Secretary.
In Dr. Jane’s secretary we have a few collectibles that are from Keith’s family. Focused in the foreground of this photo is a saw set hammer that was one of the hammers that Keith’s uncle Robert collected. He had his hammers hung display style in a room and it was an impressive collection.
While not the focus of the photo you will likely notice behind the saw set are 3 commemorative OU Championship glasses that Keith’s maternal grandmother (an avid OU football fan) collected. The ones visible are from 1954, 1956 and 1962.
Further Reading on my Relative Storyboards blog
Our neighbor’s father is visiting and has a common interest with Keith, World War II. So, Keith gathered photos of our trip to France, Germany & Belgium in 2000 and headed next door to visit. As I walked into our dining room I noted the time on our cuckoo clock and paused as I, too, remembered our first trip to Europe.
Before we went to Europe Keith and I agreed to buy, among other things, an extravagant cuckoo clock. My grandparents had a cuckoo clock and I found the tick tock of the pendulum and the cuckoo sound reassuring. So, while we were in Bacharach, Germany we shopped at Phil Jost and found the clock we wanted and shipped it back home. It doesn’t keep the best time but it’s a conversation piece and kids are fascinated by the cuckoo. We enjoy advancing the clock so kids can see and hear the cuckoo many times.
In 2010 we made our second trip to Europe and shopped in the same store in Bacharach. Still, today our cuckoo clock is one of the best souvenirs I’ve ever bought.
On display in our living room is a wood carved chest that my husband’s grandfather sent home to his children when he was in China as a Merchant Marine. This is a view of one portion of the top of the chest. It has carvings all over the front as well as each of the four sides. Inside it is lined with either cedar or sandlewood so when you open it you get a nice whiff of the wood. Inside it says:
Golden Dragon Co.
Wood Carved Factory
Chest Factory Goods
Of note today: Keith cooked a nice meal and spent some time repairing one of our toilets again (always a fun way to spend an afternoon and I appreciate it very, very much). I worked on transcribing another old letter and then wrote about it this post, Mineola, Trains and Albid, for my other blog.