I believe the answer to this question is simple–What makes a family heirloom special is the story that goes with it. Now some may say it’s the value of the piece, and that’s true, I suppose. But I’ve found that the items I’ve been given are much more meaningful to me if I know the story behind them.
What is the oldest family heirloom you own, and what is the story behind it?
My Mom passed away in December, and we have spent most of this year cleaning out her home and sorting through her stuff. We found things we didn’t know she had, special things, beautiful things, but without a story behind them–they are just things. However, a few of her older items had little notes attached to them letting us know a bit of where it came from and to whom it belonged.
The oldest item also happens to be my favorite.
It’s a little porcelain tea cup that has a red stamp on the bottom stating it was made in Germany. I know it went through the fire at my grandparents home back in the early sixties because the outside is speckled as if the smoke was glazed into the cup. But what makes this cup so special is the information written on the label my Mom placed on the inside.
It says, ” Sarah Kirwin gave to daughter, Grace Oswalt, when 12 years old.”
That means this cup was made around 1900, which means it is the oldest thing I own. Grace Stella turned twelve in March of 1901. I found one like it on an Antique Appraisers website. They’re selling one without the smoke marks for only $7.50, but this tea cup is priceless to me!
“The measure of a woman’s character is not what she gets from her ancestors,
but what she leaves her descendants.”