When “heirlooms” aren’t identified, and their stories never told, then they often become items that are tossed or sold – as they have no history, no ties to the family. So take the time to identify your family heirlooms history and memories so your treasures aren’t tossed in the trash. They are just as valuable as your family photographs and also need to be documented. Sometimes it’s not even the value of the item in question; it’s the story which holds the value.
Friday Night Family Heirlooms: telling their stories…
The Carnival Glass Collection
Carnival glass is a molded or pressed glass, always with a pattern and always with a shiny, metallic, iridescent surface shimmer.
Grandmamma Bryan’s glassware was displayed in a cabinet with sliding doors in the dining room and often caught my eye as a young girl; it was very tempting to me as I always wanted to touch the pieces, but all the grandchildren knew they were off limits to touch. I didn’t dare attempt to as Grandmamma Bryan or “Mama Bryan” as I called her, had put the fear in me to Not Touch! And I didn’t!
On one of my trips home, after I married, I expressed to her how much I loved her Carnival Glass and before I left she opened the cabinet and gave me these goblets. I was quite surprised as I had never seen her take any of the pieces out of the cabinet to use.
My mother told me that when she first married my father they often went to the carnival when it came to town – it was a place where you could walk around and enjoy – for very little money. They always brought a piece home to his mother – maybe it was bought or daddy possibly won it, I don’t know, but I guess grandmamma enjoyed the pieces as she prominently displayed them in her glass cabinet. The grandchildren were never allowed to touch them!
If they could only talk, we might hear… “step right up, for one thin dime, win a glass!”
My cousin has several pieces of her collection and shared photos for my post. When asked if she knew how grandmamma acquired all of her collection she surmised that sometimes pieces were given away at the movies or in boxes of flour or sugar, so that could be how some of the pieces came to be. At best now, we can only speculate how she gathered her pieces.
Carnival glass of Grandmama Bryan displayed by my cousin
Click Friday Night Family Heirlooms to read more stories…
Click 52 Weeks 52 Ancestors to read family stories…
© 2016 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco