Sunday, June 10, 2012


I understood that the long, low piece of Roseville pottery was part of what was called a mantle set. I own the other two pieces that belong to the set, flanking vases in the same distinctive blue. The family assumption was that they had been a wedding gift to my parents in 1935.

Among the oldest items in our home when I was growing up, the odd pottery used to strike me as undeniably adult. Only adults would create, sell, purchase and display items that were clearly devoid of day-to-day utility.

We never touched them.

There were no stories told of them either. They remained in the succession of my parents' homes without a history that any of us knew. They were like the young adulthood of my parents before any of us children were born to make them -- finally -- Ma and Pop.

Saturday morning I accepted the invitation of a work friend to go with her to an antiques fair.  She remembered to bring a checkbook and emerged from the two hours with twin panels of stained glass. The colors in the simple design are predominantly amber and blue and green and are destined, she told me with obvious excitement, to hang in her bedroom windows.

I was able to venture safely from vendor to vendor and know that there was little I would purchase with the thirty dollars in my wallet.

What I had come for, it became apparent, was not a purchase, though. Even more valuable, I got a glimpse of that Roseville blue again. This time it was a jardiniere and matching pedestal.

I stared.

So there really could have been a world in which my parents had been young adults. And it had been a beautiful world.


Anonymous said...

Un petit mot pour vous dire qu'avec mes amies étudiantes nous avons traduit et commenté votre post "life in novels".Nous avons toutes lu Mme Bovary,bien sûr,mais c'est tout le reste du texte qui nous a intéressé.Et nous avons imaginé votre job et c'était très amusant et tout ça en anglais.
Nous avons passé un moment très sympa.

Jo d'Avignon.

Donald said...

Ca me donne beaucoup de plaisir, ce que vous m'avez écrit. Oui, le monde dans lequel je fais mon travail chaque jour -- c'est un monde que je cache un peu.

Pourquoi? Pas grand mystère...