Collecting history and information about the origins of artifacts is fabulous…. with research you can understand the country where it was made, the artist or company that made it and often its date too!
So, who has wonderful family artifacts that were hand-made by a family member or ancestor? Is it signed and dated? Often it is not.
It’s time to write down the knowledge you have today, to preserve this story for the future. Below I’ve detailed three family-made items that are precious to me. By taking a photograph, describing them and adding the information about their makers – Voila! You have created a little piece of history worth keeping and sharing forward to your grandchildren and beyond.
This wooden sewing box was made by my Grandfather, H Michael George (1899-1961). He made it for my mother Joyce Muriel (Bake) George (1925-1999) during the early years of his marriage to my father Peter C George (1926-2008).
It is well used and the outer surface has many scratches, the stain has been refinished. However, the box is stable, with joints, metal hinges and sections still firmly in place. Date: ca 1952, Measurement: 11″ wide, 8″ deep, 4 3/4″ high.
The work-box came into my possession in the 1970s, when I had become our family seamstress.
Next is a particularly precious item. Many women in our family are keen knitters, and it was my Grandmother “Nanna” – Irene E (Symes) George (1903-1996) who taught me how to knit and sew. Over the years we all received Arun jumpers, baby blankets and more made by “Nanna”. This is a baby blanket made for my son, which time “Nanna” was in her 90s and had very poor sight, close to blind. She would knit all through the evening, and the next morning she inspect her work with a magnifying glass, and the morning sunlight. Spotting mistakes, she proceeded to unpick the knitting back to that spot. I am sure this wonderful item was knitted one hundred times over, making it all the more precious. It is more loved because of the stoic effort and care she put into producing it.
White wool yarn baby cot/crib blanket. Hand-knitted. Slightly loose at edges through washing and use. Date: 1994, Measurement: 26″ x 36″.
My final piece is a hand-made pottery table lamp holder. This was made for me by my younger sister Lesley Karen (George) Johnson (1959-2001). Around 1975 she attended Highbury Technical College, near Portsmouth to complete her English A Level, plus art and pottery. She was a skillful artist on many levels and different media, but creating one-off pottery items was her passion. I have a few of her pieces with me here in Canada. Perhaps one day I’ll return them to England for her children and grandchildren.
Flat, rolled and textured pottery, brown textured glaze. Date: circa 1976, Measurement: 4″ square base, tapering to 1 3/4″ top, 13″ high.
Do you have a family items that needs to be ‘documented’, their story noted, so it’s story is noted and origins remembered?