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When I was growing up, one thing I noticed about my family in comparison to others was that almost all of our furniture and accessories had "Names". NO, REALLY! Everyone else I knew had "the couch in the family room" or "the chair in the hallway." Not us! We had, among others, the "Windsor Chairs," "the Queen Anne Tall Boy" and the "Kerr Sterling Vanity Set." If it wasn't named after someone, then it was referred to based on its construction..."The Walnut Pie Safe," the "Cherry Thread Chest," or the "Oak Dry Sink."

Occasionally, we also had (I hope I don't offend) a "Dammed (Something)," which was a moniker reserved for pieces that quickly fell out of favor...A couple of these were pieces that were either damaged during acquisition or they were found to be "codgered," (more about that another day). Most frequently it was something that my parents disagreed on...Mom loved it...Dad hated it...it was destined to be "dammed" until Mom sold it for a tidy profit, then it was "cannonized" (Saint Oakchest of Three Drawer) and fondly remembered by its correct furniture name.

It really wasn't such a big deal sharing the same living space with furniture whose names are sound far more "pedigreed" than your own, but you must realize how awkward it was to tell your 12 or 13 year old friend, "please don't sit on the Duncan Phyfe (couch)." Talk about strange looks. I tried to explain style and design to a couple of them, only to receive that "I've gone somewhere else" vacant stare or some really dramatic eye-rolling. I finally just settled on, "It's reserved for our Minister or for Insurance Agents." One does what one must to survive the intricacies of friendship during early puberty.

We even had some pieces that had three names...it couldn't simply be called a "Tiffany" lamp, it was the "Louis Comfort Tiffany" lamp. OH, Brother! I admit, all this always felt a little pretentious to me, but in reality, even back then, they were teaching me about their part-time business and full-time passion...collecting glorious pieces of history, elements of meticulous craftsmanship and creations of enduring value...ANTIQUES

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Comment by Colleen Smith on February 8, 2009 at 3:45pm
Your post reminds me of the PBS Antiques Roadshow spot...you know, "Honey, could you hand me the late 20th century plastic butter container". I had some distant family in-laws that were avid collectors/dealers and did exactly the same thing. I really got an education hanging out with them. I'm sure it helped shape my views along with my parents MCM (then it was just Modern) passions.
Comment by Terri Weaver - So Dear 2 My Heart on February 3, 2009 at 10:02am
Thanks so much for your comment...It really isn't a brag, it's just that when you are raised by two voracious collectors, as well as dealers/appraisers, the stuff is just "sitting there." I think calling everything by name was my parents way of keeping "stock inventory" so that when a piece was going out to be sold, it was easier to say, "Go grab the Arrowback chair" than "the chair out of the dining room." As a kid, some of the names were so strange, it would make me stop one of them and say, "What did you call it?" That naturally lead to a long and intense lesson in style, period and construction. Which, I'm sure, had me rolling my eyes, shuffling my feet and wishing I were somewhere else. But, having gone thru many of these impromptu instructives, much of it did stick and for that I'm very grateful.

Best of luck to you in your collecting...Chippendale remains one of my favorite styles/periods and I'm sure you have a wonderful rare treasure of your very own!
Terri
So Dear 2 My Heart
Comment by rescuelifeproducts on February 3, 2009 at 1:23am
Hi. I'm so glad you've taken the time to relate your experiences, especially how you had to take in so many names that were related to the things in your surroundings. Someone may read your article and take it as bragg but I can appreciate the facts that someone in your life did you what I believe to be one of the best favors of your like---The help you to develope a keen eye for the different kind minor art pieces that can occupy a home.
It is a fact that there are many people out there who walk pass value item of furniture because they do not recognize these items by name.
This site is a great example of people who are well versed in certain information about various antique
items coming together with other who have little or no idea on the items they have collected.

We are happy that you joined us to help others throu your experiences and recognition.
I could have use your experience when I was researching my extremely old Chippendale sidechair.

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