Karl once wryly stated that my house looked like a boutique. My boyfriend and I had just tapered off of a minor quarrel when he blurted it out. Comparing my living quarters to a boutique was not meant as a compliment.
I was momentarily stunned by his observation because I realized that he was correct. This was when I was at the peak of my collecting stuff phase. Vintage anything, brick-a-brac, and vases were displayed on shelves throughout the tiny house. My boyfriend’s comment was a necessary wake-up call. I later thanked him for sharing his opinion.
Years later, after a couple of sales, plenty of decluttering, and many car trunk loads of donations to thrift stores, the house feels more spacious and less distracting. By no means is the process finished, but the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter and much closer.
Among the remaining things are my few actual antiques. Although they are not spectacularly valuable, they are at least 100-years-old. They meet the age criteria for antiques. I have no plans to let go of them because they provide just the right amount of visual interest to help make the house my home.
Going through some further decluttering and house cleaning yesterday, I mindfully pondered a few of the antiques and snapped a few photos of them. The candlestick telephone is a “near-antique” because it is a rotary dial version of a classic. It was an actual working phone until 1978 when it was taken out of service and the subset/ringer box was lost by the previous owner. Now, it is just a shell, stripped of many of its inner works.
My coin collection is quite small, but historically interesting. The pieces left over from my last sale are American colonial era coins and a few Ancient Roman coins. They are usually locked away in a safety deposit box at the bank because that is a smart way to protect them. In fact, these were returned to the bank vault yesterday afternoon.
These three Westclox alarm clocks were recently brought out of my archives. The “Baby Ben” on the left is from 1920, the “Big Ben” was manufactured around 1910, and the vintage, black-dial “Baby Ben” is from the 1960s. All three clocks do run, but the alarm function of the 1920 “Baby Ben” is unreliable.
The W.H. Jones stoneware crock is a bona-fide antique. It was probably made around 1890. I use it to store what remains of my old maps of where I’ve been and magazine collections. The near-antique, art deco flower planter was made in the 1930s by McCoy Pottery. Displayed at the bottom is a poultry catalogue from the Webster City, Iowa chicken hatchery from the 1960s and a vintage “Mechanix Illustrated” magazine published in September of 1970.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Belgian fashion designer Dries van Noten. “I collect objects I fall in love with more than antiques per se. Value is not a criteria that attracts me to something.”