As staff members at Kovels, we study hundreds of books and auction catalogs filled with all types of vintage and antique treasures. We love reporting on the items bought by others, but we thought we would reflect on some of our own “heirlooms” for which we are very thankful.
1. Terry: I still thank my late husband, Ralph, for this gift, a typewriter pendant. He had “I love you” printed on the front “roller” and “Know Your Antiques” engraved on the back. The keys are opal, my birthstone.
2. Kim Kovel: I have a berry spoon that was given to me by my parents. I use it every Thanksgiving to serve our family’s secret cranberry sauce recipe. It reminds me how my father loved making and perfecting the cranberry sauce every year. He was the best taste tester, always finding the perfect balance between tart and sweet.
3. Janet, Kovels’ graphic designer: One of my favorite heirlooms is a sampler stitched by relative, Hannah Oliver, at age 9 in 1810. She was my grandmother’s great-great-great-aunt. I’ve had it professionally cleaned by a reputable gallery because of water and mildew damage which resulted in color bleeding and fading, but it is now “archival” for generations to come. It reminds me of my relatives in Rye, Sussex, England, whom I know little about, and the types of domestic skills required by young women of the time.
4. Hamsy, Kovels marketing director: I inherited this Japanese porcelain tea set from my maternal grandmother. My grandfather used to work as head of security in the house of a Dominican ex-president. The set was gifted to my grandparents by him and his wife when my grandparents were married.
5. Cherrie, a Kovels copy editor: My family is Canadian and my grandmother gave me a Canadian-made stoneware jug with a cobalt blue oak leaf painted on it. It dates to the 1860s-1870s and was made in Brantford, Ontario. I always remember it sitting on my grandmother’s hearth and now it sits on my hearth, reminding me of my grandmother. Also, my husband’s grandmother used to sew by hand and made some braided rag rugs for us when we were first married, more than 40 years ago. We still have, and cherish, a few.
6. Liz, a Kovels’ writer and editor: We have a Tiffany silver pitcher that was a gift that my mother-in-law and her sister gave to their parents for their 25th wedding anniversary in 1941. My mother-in-law set a “lovely table” with beautiful dinnerware, silver and cut glass for every meal, even the simplest, and even when rambunctious grandchildren were present. She never put plasticware out for the children — she expected them to carefully handle goblets and serving pieces and she expected their behavior to match. While my in-laws have passed on, that silver pitcher is still on my table for every family gathering, reminding my children, and now their children, that being together is a blessing and to have high expectations.
7. Renee, one of Kovels’ price recorders: My mother received a Hummel Madonna & Child figurine when she was married in 1956. She always treasured it, as I do now. And my husband received an Elgin pocket watch from his father, who received it from his father. My husband still carries and uses it today.
8. Beverly, another Kovels’ editor and price recorder: I have my grandfather’s 1936 Central High School class ring. He was proud of his education and his subsequent work for G.M. I was touched that my grandmother wanted me to have it.
9. Mozella, another Kovels’ price recorder: I am thankful for my great-grandmother’s china set that I inherited. It is so special to me because out of all the women in my family, she chose for me to have it!
We are grateful for our readers and all things collectible! Happy Thanksgiving!