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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Place markers and heirlooms.

Hello, I hope you are all safe, well and warm as most of us have been suffering with snow, ice and cold.
I feel I should once again apologise for my distinct lack of posts, I am again blighted by ill health.  As you can imagine I'm just about 'sick' of it too!  What started off as another cold almost two weeks ago has progressed to a chest infection, for which after a visit to the doctor yesterday I am now on antibiotics. 

Some months ago I said I would show you my place markers, so here you are.

A set of six silver plated reindeer
I got these from eBay a few years ago
each standing 3 inches high.

in close up

The name cards fit beautifully in the rack of antlers!

A set of six silver plated chairs
(err, yes there IS six, no idea how I missed one off!)
and in close up, the missing one is first up.

The name cards fit in a slit on the top of each seat.
They stand about 2 inches high and were a gift from my dear Hubby :o)

Next up we have twelve bone china markers

Bought last year from a charity shop for £1,  approx 3 inches x 1.5 inches

I haven't used them yet, but you write the names on the centre part with a wipe able marker pen.
Can you imagine what would draw me to blue and white?

The next set of stars were free with a magazine years ago, they were in packs of four.  I found another pack of four in a charity shop for 50p

These are my favourite ones, also found on Ebay,

As you can see by the cards they came with designed for weddings

In close up without the name card - don't you just love them?
Approx 2.5" x 1.25"

And another delightful pewter Victorian Posy set
originally from Past Times, but of course found in a charity shop

Each stands approx 2" high, the name card fits behind the tiny leaf on the base.
They look so beautiful with some gypsophillia and hare bells in them.

If you read the blog regularly you will have seen these before.

Eight turkeys, found in the charity shop.

About 1'5" high.  The name card fits into a slit in the tail feathers.

And lastly....

A set of golden crowns made by Tchibo and sold from a local supermarket
years ago.

They stand approx 3" high.  Originally they were plain gold but I added the rhinestones.

Now, on to the heirlooms.
You will have seen these twisted brass candlesticks on my mantle before.  They belonged to my maternal Grandmother Clara, and before that her Mom, my Great Grandmother Mary.  They stand 12" tall.  I have known them all my life they are well over a hundred years old, and am lucky enough to be the custodian of them now.

Grandma Clara married my Grandfather John (Jack) on the 8th February 1914.  He made this set of pot hooks for their home from heavy copper almost as thick as my little finger.  They range in size from 8" to 4"

Close up of the two largest.

My Grandad Jack told my Grandma Clara a few weeks after WWI broke out in August 1914, that he intended to sign up to fight at the end of that week.  As you can imagine she was heart broken as they were still newly weds.  Fate was to play it's hand in preventing this.  Jack worked in a tool making factory, the tool making machinery was run by a steam engine with belts to each piece of machinery running from the roof, one of the machines broke down and Jack had to repair it.  The machinery was turned off, and Grandad had to climb up and adjust the belt on his machine, someone returning into the workshop thought that the repair was completed.  The spinning belt that Grandad was working on grabbed his right arm and dragged it into the spinning works.  It was amputated just below his shoulder. My Gran always said that this accident had saved his life and was 'meant to be' as he wasn't able to join up.

This next piece isn't actually an heirloom, but it has strong connections to the Bilston, the town in which I was born. (Famous for its Bilston Enamels)

A 'Beldray' copper crumb tray.  It's about 10" wide.  The design registration number tells it was designed in 1889, though not necessarily made in that year.  I remember the Beldray factory very well.   
I found it in a local table-top sale many years ago and was attracted by the pattern, when I turned it over and discovered who it was made by it had to be mine - I'm STILL on the look-out for an appropriate crumb brush.

Now, an admission...the copperware doesn't fit in with things at the moment and for some years has been stored in my dresser, so when I got it out today it was more than a little tarnished.  I HATE polishing metalware, be it silver, brass or copper!  I cleaned these today easily with half a lemon dipped in salt, then washed each item in nice hot washing up water and dried it immediately.  Not a bad finish eh?

Hope you found something you liked today.

Best wishes to all.

Whoops!  I realise that I missed an heirloom out! 

These are 'trench art' pieces that also belonged to my Grandparents, they always shared the mantle with the candlesticks and Grandma's

They are approx 4" x 5" 'Draw Plates' made from brass with copper handles.
I've just had to check with Mom as to their history.  Uncle Harry (Grandads brother) brought these back from WWI along with some other things and gave them to Grandma and Grandad.  They would have been made by the troups who were awaiting or just back from the front lines to while away their many hours of boredom.  These and other brass/copper items were made from the many shell cases that littered the area. I can only presume that he made them.  We also have some small German shell casings (At Mom's) and a large case (that's currently in my loft) all dated 1916.  The large case was used to hold the fire poker in the hearth, and when we got married it was passed on to me for our hearth too.  The smaller casings were also on Grans mantle.
When I was growing up and until about 16 years ago we always had an open fire, the 'draw plate' was used just after the fire had been lit to draw the flame to 'get it going' better.  Ours was made from steel and was placed in front and against the fire hole for a few minutes causing a seal so that the flames were drawn up the chimney quicker.  There is an art to this though, as if the chimney is getting to the point it needs sweeping it can cause a chimney fire if you're not careful.  (Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt!)

In close up

Okay - That's all folks!


Sharing Shadymont said...


Such wonderful treasures. The candlesticks are gorgeous. I'm so glad you have them. All your place holders are so neat. What a great post!!!

Have a wonderful week.

Marilyn said...

All the place card holders are so cute. My favorites are the chairs, the gold 'fancy' ones, and the posy set. Once upon a time I used to get a catalog from Past Times-are they still in business? The best treasures, though, are the ones from your family!♥♫

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Gosh, Rose, there's so much here. Love the place makers. The reindeer are my favourite. Sobering story about your grandad. Thanks so much for sharing. xx

pattypan.2 said...

Hope you feel loads better soon. Some lovely finds there and some lovely heirlooms the candlesticks are beautiful and very unusual.

Take care Rose



Jooles said...

gosh what beautiful treasures you have!
i hope you are better very soon x
thank you so much for your sweet comment x
love jooles x

Kim said...

What a lovely lot of treasures! I absolutely LOVE the stags - they're fantastic! Love the little jewels you've added to the crowns too! Have a lovely weekend and I hope you feel better very soon. I too am fighting off a chest infection and have a docs appt on Monday. We seem to have mirror illnesses you and I. xx

Mary said...

Dearest Rose, I'm late in wishing you well, hopefully by now you are feeling much better - my thoughts are with you this weekend and hopefully the antibiotics are doing their job!

I love your collection and of course have to admit the adorable chairs are my favorite - I have 'a thing' for chairs, of any size!! They are all wonderful though.

The trench art story is so interesting - I'd never heard of the draw plates - how wonderful you have kept these in your family of so long. We don't require these but we do always ensure our chimney is cleaned annually as we usually burn a lot of wood. This year however it just hasn't been cold enough, although we do have a fire some evenings when we're watching a movie - for atmosphere rather than the need for additional heat!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your always welcome comments - I too wished you were here so we could do a bit of treasure hunting together. Have you ever been to the US?

Take care, be well soon.
Mary X

LoloDesigns said...

Wow what an amazing collection, stunning!

So glad you are with me on the comments thing, it just really got to me recently.

Off to have a look around your place. Love Lolo xx