Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Vintage, anyone?

by Patty Lakinsmith

With all the talk about vintage lately, I thought I'd share a couple of my dearest vintage pieces. I'd say "a few" but I'm having trouble locating one particularly cherished piece.

Vintage necklace

Isn't this one grand? Purchased when I was a grad student living happily on $5K per year, it was and is a treasure to me even though it was not expensive. Judging from the underlying structure and the materials, it's clearly handmade, but for some reason I loved it then and still do now.

This next set of beads is truly special. They were my maternal grandmother's, and I don't know much about them except that one day when she was still alive, she went through her jewelry box and picked out some special pieces for me to have. I adored her, and it meant the world to me, even though some of the pieces would never probably leave my jewelry box, but they were there, reminding me of her each time I opened it.

Grandma's beads

They're obviously encased lampwork beads speckled with goldstone, probably imported (from where?), but I'm not sure of the vintage. There's a large seed bead in between each of them and the beads have brass filigree bead caps. I loved the multi-colored look, and the gradation in bead size. I have worn this necklace many times, and cherish it. I can't help but wonder about the occasion when she got them, whether grandpa gave them to her or she picked them out herself, and what she wore them with.

The piece I wish I could find is a brooch my Grandma wore when I was an infant, consisting of a proud Michigan slice of cherry wood (tastefully done in plastic) with a vibrant cluster of lucite or glass cherries protruding from it. When she held me in her arms as a baby I reportedly played with it. I know I have it, I just need to find it.

Are you sentimentally attached to some vintage pieces of your own? Do they have a special story to tell?

6 comments:

Jenni said...

Nice story, Patty.I have a few treasured pieces, too. It reminds me that if I ever become a Grandmother, how important it will be to "hand-down" a treasure, no matter it's monetary value.
Jenni

stacilouise said...

Thanks for sharing. I have some really special vintage pieces from my maternal grandmother, who left us 6 years ago. I miss her, especially this time of year (spring always meant play time at mommom's house). And although the pieces are fancier then I would wear, I like to look at them and remember her in them.

mairedodd said...

i love these pieces... my norwegian grandmother had a really interesting taste in jewelry - but i remember her most for her scarabs - the carved stone ones... she had a ring, bracelet and necklace... the ring was lost over the years... but i have the necklace and treasure it...

D'Arsie Manzella said...

These are beautiful~ I have a necklace of my maternal grandmother's that I always remembered as a mouse. I would play with it when I was a baby too! When I inherited it as a teenager, I realized that it wasn't a mouse at all but a textured teardrop shape (the point of the teardrop was the nose and the bottom, the mouse's bottom). It's amazing what we remember and what we create of the memories...

Alice said...

Sadly I have none. My paternal grandmother never wore much jewelry, but what she did went to her only daughter. My maternal grandmother wore tons of jewelry, but it was all sold at a garage sale after she passed away, much to the frustration of my mother. I do remember as a child playing with a box of jewelry when we visited my aunt.

Your pieces are lovely, and made even more beautiful because of the memories.

Patty said...

Mary Jane...you won't believe this, but my grandmother's husband was Swedish!

D'Arsie, that's for sure. Oh, to see through a child's eyes again. I once visited a house we used to live in, and looked for the towering pine tree in the front that we used to climb. Couldn't find one...except for a small one. In my child's mind it was huge.

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