I remember the fascination created in my mind by a beautiful bluish, ceramic water pitcher, flaking, with an ugly male frog on its handle, ready to jump on you; the dusty goblet was lying thrown among other cast offs in the huge attic of my cousin’s house. When I grew up, I started asking her for it. Only then did the goblet, which came from the house of our grandparents, having practically no other value than a sentimental one, return to life. I think even now it decorates the garden of the same house… our paths have diverged and led each of us to a different place, and I have not seen for a long time either the attic, or the goblet…
However, it is certain my cousin did not give it to me, because she herself has been infected with the mania of collecting, and she worships our grandparents. As far as other objects of hers are concerned, even now we tease each other. And the passion continues a generation later.
Others, on the other hand, looked at me a little strangely when I poked my nose in the trunks, but they gave me, here and there, a little something. Sometimes even a lot, not knowing, for the most part, what to do with such objects.
The funniest story related to this was that of the gas lamps. Without being a collector of this type of objects, I was in the situation of buying gas lamps for the completion of a rustic décor. I found them, in contemporary ceramic, manually painted, in Cyprus. An obscure potter on the side of the road was still manufacturing such objects. The lamps were big, beautiful, delicately decorated, and they fulfilled the purpose for which I was acquiring them. But it turned out, once I arrived home, that they were insufficient. And so it was that, finding myself wandering among relatives, I began to ask… Little by little I collected gas lamps from all the houses through which I passed (less so from my mother’s who admitted that she had thrown them all out). And today I still meet a distant relative who tells me, as soon as she sees me: are you still looking for gas lamps? I had acquired a reputation…
In general, traditional objects are still well preserved in the attics and caves of country homes. And they are free! I remind you here that the great collectors had, in addition to valuable paintings, as a must, folk art: hand weaved rugs, goblets, bowls, furniture. A type of collection in fact accessible for anyone, and which can be started even today, is through small acquisitions of Horezu or Corund (Korond) ceramic. About this type of collections, however, on another occasion.
Until next time,
T.C. (The Collector) & E. (Escuteo)