Monday, October 15, 2012

Amongst Grandma's chattels...part 1

 ..there are little treasures to be found! (to me anyway)
Earlier in the year my dad had some of his late mother's belongings sent here from the family home in the UK. While furniture such as grandfather clock(s), the dining suite and the four-poster bed belong to the main house, dad has managed to acquire some lovely cupboards,drawers, tables etc. The remains of her life, that hadn't been bequeathed to non/family members or picked over by the relatives living on the farm. The "dregs" I was told, how I loathe that word. A matter of opinion really, if dregs they be, I'll have any of them.
So over the past few weeks I've been helping (or hindering) my mum unpack boxes and boxes of things no one else wanted. Not only belongings from my Grandparents, but also some things from their parents/grandparents.
 Below are some pretties I bought home with me.
Seems my great grandmother and her mother before her were devoted lace makers and made lace pieces as a business (before the www, shock horror people actually made things by hand, the really tedious way) "Enough to drive you mad", Mr CH said. So I've been soaking and washing lots of white things. Some laces are so old I'm too chicken to wash them.

My grandmother was born in India as her father was a railway engineer at the time and I think these beautifully carved lace tools are made from tusk or bone. The netting lace piece underneath is Limerick lace? 
A childhood handmade sewing bag was full of wooden spools of lace threads and cottons.

An amazing little book, 800 pages, which belonged to my grandmothers step-mother.
Who was Annie Miles of 61 Berlin Road (which was renamed Canadian Road, probably after the war) Catford.
Full of diagrams and patterns in everything from tatting and crochet to netting and trimmings.
 and  55 pages on macrame.(Pippa)

a cute little leather sewing kit.
and a modified cigar box of old needles, buttons, clips, more spools and thread for mending your hosiery, (ha,won't be needing that)

This one I didn't bring home, very cool graphics on an Egyptian cigarette tin (though maybe dad would notice if it went missing?

A lover of handmade boxes esp. with clever catches, made me wonder what was inside.
 An allergy suffers nightmare. A dozen glass plate negatives covered in dust.

A distant relative, probably early 1900's as her dress is not quite the relaxed Edwardian look and not too stuffy over-the-top Victorian either. Still wearing a corset though. Leaning against a bamboo table with the matted top.

We've all done it - taken pics of family members in front of our houses, somethings never change. I almost missed the man standing in the corner of this pic.

 Lady in horse drawn sulky.

Lots of photos to see as well, Tingle-belle the family's yacht bought for $400 and something pounds, as the sale receipt is in the chattels as well. She is no longer seaworthy.

A flattering pic of the rolls, can't remember her year '32 or '36 I think. Now gathering dust in one of the sheds. Such a beautiful car, no seat belts though.

 A pic of my dad (dark suit) and his twin brother the day before he left for Australia for a boys only adventure. Ha, he looks so funny and uncomfortable in his suit.

Living the dream on an Australian sheep property at 17.

Found a pic of me at 2 from a frame in grandma's bedroom belongings, a bit faded. Like my wavy tights and cardi?
My favorite find so far is this little parquetry chest which needs gluing in the middle.

It has coins (a square one), tiny keys and badges in the drawers.

 I thought this book of luggage labels was an interesting find.

Used by my grandma in the '30's to keep her keys safe when she went off to be a nurse/midwife, back in the day when you had trunks and hat boxes instead of suitcases. Must have been a horrible time to be a nurse, during the second world war.

Last but not least an ice cream container holding some of the old keys from the family property, from out buildings, stores, cottages and some of the furniture. No 2 son tried to help out trying all the keys in the cupboard/ trunks/ boxes. We still haven't found the key to a small metal box  and there is something in it! He tried really hard to get it open. Kids want it to be a gold bar, ha!
They can dream, can't they?

I'll put a few more pics on my Flickr if anyone is vaguely interested.
Have a great week!
We got rain!


  1. How absolutely wonderful all of these images are - a treasure trove delightful things. A lovely keepsake
    Best wishes

  2. What an amazing collection, I think you received the best bits not the dregs! Those old keys and cotton reels are wonderful, how exciting that you get to now try and open random contains until you find more treasure. mel x

  3. The stories that those 'dregs' can tell! So wonderful that you have these lovely things and thank you for sharing your stories with us.xx

  4. Did i say first war,not second,duh!

  5. I'm with you and everyone else Simmone. No dregs there. Only treasure, real lovely treasure that belongs to your family. It's your history that's what it is. And very special indeed.

    p.s. I can't get over that macrame!

  6. What a fabulous little haul - so much history there! the dregs are your treasure!! Did they not know how important these things are to family members - probably not enough monetry value for them. Oh well, their loss is your gain!! Enjoy.

  7. Such great heirlooms! I adore the first shot with the little heart shaped object with the leaf on the front. Is that a locket or similar? Great pics of your father too.x

  8. Hi Simmone, that is the most fantastic post ever. Wow, how lucky you are to have such wonderful treasured family memories. The glass photo panels are just amazing. Can't wait to see post #2.

  9. What a treasure trove of beautiful finds! Your grandmother iwould be happy that her things are being so cherished.
    Beth x

  10. Love this fascinating post! I agree with your sentiment those "dregs" were such treasures. The little child's bag of sewing stuff, the hand made lace, and hosiery repair kit (can you even imagine repairing your stockings....I barely wear them!)
    And the instructional book. You get real relics from your past. What was important and and used and dear to the women of your past and now it your hands...I think that is something.
    You come from such a fascinating well-traveled family.
    I will check out those flickr pics as well.


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