Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Few of My Favourite Things

A lot of our furniture has been in my family for a very long time, and has a lot of meaning to me.  One of our favourite pieces is a ‘secretary’ or desk with a china cabinet on top.  It belonged to my paternal Grandpa and he left it to my Mom when he died.   I always remember seeing it when we visited him, and it was a very special piece in our home as I grew up.  
In the desk portion there are loads of little cubby holes, and over the years I have found various bits of paper and business cards tucked away - even one from the 1930’s for a hotel in New York State, with various sums scribbled on the back.  It makes me smile because even after all these years when I open the china cabinet it still smells vaguely like my Grandpa’s furniture polish and cigars, bringing him immediately back to mind in an almost tangible way.  
When we decorated the entry foyer of our home last week I changed round the china and glass I had in the cabinet on top of the secretary.  I chose pieces that are almost all from the same era - circa 1920 - 1940.  They all have meaning and a story behind them.      

These Cauldon coffee cans and saucers are part of a set that was given to us as a wedding present by my cousin Noel and his late wife Barbara. They came in a fantastic case containing the six cups and saucers plus matching spoons with green beads on the ends.  They were made in 1935.  It was such a thoughtful gift from two very special people.

Bordered with gold leaf, these liqueur glasses were hand gilded by my maternal Grandma.  When I was quite young, on special occasions my Dad used to fill one with tiny pieces of crushed ice and trickle the smallest amount of Creme de Menthe over it for me when the grown ups had a cocktail.  It made me feel so grown up!       

These glasses, which are also for liqueurs, used to belong to my maternal Grandma before they belonged to my own Mom.  Mom gave them to me when I first had a house of my own.   I’m not positive about the year on these two different designs, or whether they belonged to anyone before my Grandma, but research I have done leads me to believe they are from the late 1920’s/early 30’s.  I know my Mom told me, but I didn’t listen carefully enough and  never wrote it down.  I’m making a point of writing the history of our family things down for my son as well as telling him the stories behind them that I know.  It’s so important to share family history with our kids!  

Originally meant for champagne, the glasses below are 'cross and olive' crystal.  They belonged to my Mom, but I don’t remember the story behind them.  When I was a little girl, she used to let me serve jello and puddings in them - they make fabulous serving dishes.  

The only pieces I know are not from the era I mentioned are the brandy glasses in the photograph below, but I thought they looked so nice with everything else I included them anyway.  These are three sets of two glasses each given to my husband and I as wedding presents.  Two of them are Royal Doulton, two Edwardian Crystal and two are Crystal D’Arques.  They were all given to us by some very special people. 

I love the secretary’s new look.  The green and gold colours in the china and crystal are the perfect foil for the cream coloured walls in the entry foyer and I’m so pleased with how it all looks as you walk in through the front door.  


  1. Such a beautiful secretary. We have tons of special family pieces, too. I love all the memories. Thanks for visiting my site...I'm your newest follower. :)

  2. Welcome Jane - thanks for the follow!


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