I have a longing interest for all things past. History, ranging from literature to art and architecture, from
grand homes to cottages, from antiques and vintage items to private treasures. The list is endless.
I am drawn to old china, transfer ware, blue and white Meissen or Delft, old silver, cutlery, dishes, old photographs and letters, books of course and many pieces, which do not always fit easy description.
Just look at the beautiful clock my husband brought back many years ago from Amsterdam. Somebody made it it, had it sold to a Dutch family, it was sitting on a mantle, chiming their times high above the canals....and finally it found its way to America! A small house in New York.
Although unknown to me, I think of all of them.
All these things hold beauty and collective memories. When I gaze at an old picture I am moved towards these times, try to imagine the lives and circumstances. It fills me with compassion and melancholy of sorts.
I love the stories I hear. I feel like a collector of worlds. Its looking into mirrors.
When I touch the handle of the wonderful silver coated coffee pot, I bought on eBay a few months ago, I think not only of the friendly woman who sold it and turned out to be of German decent and her mother, whom the pot belong to, but also the times it has been used. It is an elegant piece, used perhaps at weddings or birthday parties?
Now it sits heavy and pretty on my window ledge and gets used again at parties and just recently was a centerpiece at my birthday.
If these pieces only could talk...
I particularly love old silver. The knowledge of how many hands have held on to the knives and forks, the circumstances under they were acquired, the places they have been...
I bought vintage silver from Connecticut and the Midwest, china from Florida and photographs and letters from Brooklyn.
I have old roll clothes, used for pressing bedding and tablecloths from Germany and France, wooden candle holders from Belgium and vintage chandeliers found on City Island in the Bronx, NY.
And the books....well, this is another story!
There are also new things from our times, well made and precious to me. They also will be things of the past one day. I am keenly aware of this.
For that reason I try to look for lasting things, well made furniture, fewer but better.
I am less interested to collect as much as possible anymore. Though I used to...
Now I look for the quality and our needs. What sense does it make to have a cupboard filled with china I never use?
I am a collector of things, but I have learned to be selective.
I am also a caretaker, a keeper of things close to me and I will pass them on. There will be again some one to take them from me, when I am gone and just my touch and memory will remain. There will be a story added. This connects me and I love the thought of being a part of the long chain of time.
All pictures by V.Zlotkowski