While that is not the case, almost all of my pieces are antiques. Hand-carved wood on my vanity table and on my bedside marble topped table, and handmade porcelain lamps with dancers on the posts, gold-leaf decor on the bases, and ruffled gold or tulle ribbon trimming all of the shades.
Ironically, the one piece of furniture I own that is actually from my grandmother is the most modern-looking: a single bed. My “real” bed is so much of a showpiece that I didn’t want to put it into an apartment bedroom. My “real” bed is hand-carved wood, intricate flowers on the headboard and baseboard, was made in 1870, and requires a professional/ special tools to put together. It is also high-maintenance, requiring a certain level of humidity in the room to avoid the wood from either cracking or getting damaged. Too much responsibility for now.
Last week while at my family’s lake house, I visited one of my favorite ladies in the world. Edna, looking glamorous at 92 years old, has been the only woman I trust when buying jewelry since I was about 10 years old.
A British woman who moved to the states for her husband (now deceased), Edna spent much of her life in a wealthy NJ suburb next to the town I grew up in, and somehow transplanted herself to upstate New York wine country and started an antiquing business.
Because of her age, she no longer acquires more inventory. This doesn’t matter, as she has the best collection in the world. I must be her only jewelry customer because when I visited, two rings I was eyeing two years ago had not yet sold. I bought one this time. Some things never lose their appeal.
I get at least one compliment every time I wear one of her pieces. These are statement pieces, and they are one-of-a-kind. You will not find what I’m wearing anywhere because no one makes these styles anymore.
I have no shame in owning pre-owned things. They are beautiful, unique, and I want to surround myself with things I’m attracted to.
The fact that my furniture and jewelry pieces are still usuable hundreds of years later is a testament to the handiwork and attention to detail put into them. Whether it’s furniture or jewelry, this shit is built to last.
No one else has what I have. I have extremely individual taste and am quite proud of it. Not my grandmother’s furniture—mine, very, very much mine.