Since posting photos of our apartment, I’ve had a lot of comments and emails about the cluster of brass candlesticks on our dining room table. This collection of eight used to be a collection of sixteen or more. We donated the less-favored or less emotionally infused items before we left California in June for our move to Sevilla. The remaining candlesticks are special to us for one reason or another.
|WITH COLORFUL GLASS BOBECHES (WAX CATCHERS) TO MAKE THEM LESS SERIOUS.|
My maternal grandfather was from Warsaw, Poland. He lived in Portsmouth, England, for some years before making his way to New York where he had a produce store; he sold fruits and vegetables from a pushcart during the “Great Depression,” and eventually owned his own large store again until he retired in the late 1950s. He gave my mother the pair of tall candlesticks some time during the 1960s. The style is described as Petticoat. They were apparently made in Warsaw around or before 1890.
For years, whenever Jerry and I would visit my mother, she would try to get us to clear some of the tons of stuff out of her apartment. She loves to collect (you name it… mortars and pestles, stone hearts, cut glass, sculpture), loves to create (paint, sculpt, knit, crochet, needlepoint), and has a hard time parting with anything (such as a burlap bag from souvenir popcorn because she “might be able to use it for a project”).
At the end of every one of our visits, my mother would say, “Isn’t there anything you want to take with you?” Sometimes, I would take things just to get them out of her house. I’d then get them home and would donate them to charity (or toss them — as in the case of the discolored, disintegrating, disgusting, and un-burpable Tupperware from the 1950s). But, my grandfather’s candlesticks! Each time my mother asked if I wanted anything, I would say, “Well, the candlesticks would be nice.” She would always tell me, “Not yet.” But then, during one visit she said, “I want you to take the candlesticks. I want to know you’re enjoying them while I’m still around.” We’ve been enjoying them for more than 15 years.
|FROM WARSAW, POLAND, CIRCA 1890.|
The pair of large triple-dolphin candlesticks are contemporary. We found them in 1993 at a store called “Tchotchkes” in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego, California.
|A TCHOTCHKE FROM SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, CIRCA 1993.|
My mother and one of her sisters used to visit us together every year beginning when we lived in San Diego in the ’90s. My Uncle Harry was a collector and re-seller of anything that interested him (or could turn a profit). When he died, he left behind lots of unusual treasures. My aunt had the simple, geometric antique candlesticks and the small dolphins and thought they’d go well with our other candlesticks, so she brought them with her to San Diego one year.
We are off to New York in the morning for a quick visit with my mother and brother. I don’t expect to come home with more candlesticks. But I won’t be surprised to find some very old Tupperware slipped into my suitcase.