Category Archives: Family

Look A Little Closer….

harmonica-p-c-george-1938

There are many ways to find out the age of your family artifacts.  Photographs and documents are often dated, many have name references too.

Objects are a little different.  On occasion you might be aware who had owned an item, and possibly where they got it from. Sometimes items have a date on them, such as this souvenir spoon from the 1967 International and Universal Exposition, the “Expo ’76” World Fair, held in Montreal.

montreal-1967-spoon

A stamped, or printed mark on the object by the maker can help you research the age of an item. You can discover how long was the maker’s business was in operation, and possibly view catalogues to identify the specific design.

The internet can lead you to lists of companies and dates, for lots of types of objects – ceramics, metal, wooden, glass.

Hallmarks on gold and silver are particularly interesting. If an item was British-made, a precise date can be discovered including the maker and the place.

This Echo-Luxe harmonica was made by M. Hohner, Germany. It was in my brother’s china cabinet for many years.  Now it has come into my possession.  The only thing I knew about it, was that it had belonged to my father – Peter Colin George (1926-2008).

Research tells me that Matth. Hohner AG is the oldest and largest producer of harmonicas in the world.  Based in Trossingen, Baden-Württemberg the company was founded in 1857 by Matthias Hohner (1833-1902). In the 1920s the chromatic harmonica was introduced and production of harmonicas hit 20 million.

So, how to pin down the date of this very popular, well-used harmonica which is still in its original box?

Look a little closer……

Within the box lid, handwritten in a pencil …. “Form 2B, P. George”. This identifies the harmonica as pre-WWII, circa 1938. It was used by my father while attending senior school –  Portsmouth Grammar for Boys (founded in 1732)!

harmonica-lid-p-c-george-1938

 

 

Identify Your Treasured Collections – Medals

Military Medal Named Boxes

If you are lucky enough to be the keeper of precious family artifacts, why not take a moment to clarify who they belonged to?

I am easily able to identify my two sets of family military medals (Royal Navy).  I have a keen interest in both family history and historical artifacts.

But to save these memories and pass them along to future generations, the information has to be clear.

The miniature medal set belonged to my Grandfather Harry Michael George (1899-1961) who joined the Royal Navy at age 15. He became an ERA (Engine Room Artificer), retiring from the Navy as a Chief ERA 2nd Class. His medal set consists of : WWI – British War Medal, and Victory Medal. Long Service Good Conduct Medal 1933, and WWII – Defence Medal and Second World War Medal.

The full size medals belonged to my father Peter Colin George (1925-2008) the son of H Michael George. He also joined the Royal Navy as a boy. Retiring after his fifth-five as Chief Petty Officer, Engineer, RN Fleet Air Arm. (He worked on planes on air craft carriers).  His medals include: Defence Medal (1939-1945), WWII Medal (1939-1945), and Long Service Good Conduct Medal.

Each medal set, is housed in a box and marked with the name of their owner.  I chose to buy the boxes in the UK during a trip, to have the Royal Coat of Arms emblem included.

In the past, military tailors such as Gieves & Hawkes, in Queen Street, Portsmouth would provide these boxes. Alas, no longer, the company still specializes in military uniforms, in Savile Row, London, but no store remains in Portsmouth.

I sourced these boxes via… Worcestershire Medal Services.

medal-boxes-b

Take a moment to identify your family artifacts!

What to avoid using in your antique vase!

When re-arranging some dried flowers, I discovered an issue.  Florist putty used to hold the flower in place had become old and extremely sticky. Once carefully removed (some residue oil still remains), I researched the vase that was once of my Nanna’s favourite.

Constance Spy Mantle Vase Fulham Pottery, London circa 1940
Constance Spy Mantle Vase Fulham Pottery, London circa 1940

Passed to me by my paternal grandmother Irene Evelin (Symes) George (1903-1996) it’s warm cream colour, low profile and elongated shape makes it perfect to create unusual flower arrangements.

Made by The Pottery, Fulham, London, originally founded by John Dwight in 1672. The Pottery, famous for Salt Glazes Stoneware was located at the junction of Kings and Burlington Roads in Fulham in the London Borough of Putney.

A cute paper label with my Grandmother’s handwriting allocated it to me. I have sentimentally left it in place.

Maker's stamp, The Pottery, Fulham, Made in England. FMC.
Maker’s stamp, The Pottery, Fulham, Made in England. FMC.

Research from the stamp and cream coloured glaze leads me to understand that this item is a Constance Spy Art Deco vase designed in the 1930s. Noted as Spry Fulham Pottery Vase (R/0117/ET / LA52215) it was likely made in the 1940s.  The maker’s initials inscribed are FMC.

The frog appears to be the original, the metal is in tact but the centre rubber piece has become hard and brittle.

Flower Frog 1940s

So, although we encourage everyone to use and enjoy their family heirlooms, may I share a little advice of what NOT to use in your special antique vases… avoid florist putty!

 

A Gift For Seniors…

Are you stuck for ideas on what to buy parents and grandparents for Christmas…. then read on!

Seniors have collected and gathered wonderful items throughout their lives. Now they are surrounded by many precious items. They often say, “I don’t need anything!”  They have have all the ‘things’ they need.

However, among their collection, are likely a few very special items that have been passed down the family – family heirlooms. A vase and brooch that were Great Grandmother’s,  a quilt that she made. Military artifacts that belonged to Great, Grandfather etc.

Why not give a gift of having these few special items photographed and their stories gathered and ‘provenance’ documented.  The resulting booklet can be shared with grandchildren, can be in digital format or printed on paper.

If this is something you would like to arrange for your loved one. Contact met today. alison@treasurecollections.ca

WWII Woman's Land Army Arm Band
Documented – WWII Woman’s Land Army Arm Band

Share Your Family Bible

Family Tree and Genealogy
Leather-bound family Bible for Carnegie  family circa 1880

If you are lucky enough to be the keeper of your family Bible, wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to share its content with other members of your family?

Or maybe you know who holds your Bible, and they can share its contact with you?

Usually within the centre pages these large heavy leather-bound Bibles have family information handwritten by family members. Pages include Family Register, Parents Names, Children’s Names, Marriages, and Deaths.

Photograph the Bible from the outside, then each of the pages within.  Save the contents as an image. The images can then be packaged into one document ready for sharing, in paper format or in PDF by email.

Take a moment to verify the data contained. Cross check the information with your family free. Make a note any additional dates, missing information or incorrect spellings.

The family Bible in my possession features my Paternal Great Grandmother’s parents and grandparents.  The hand-written details  start with Frances Mary (Warner) Carnegie (1846-1928) daughter of William Warner (no dates included) and her husband Alexander Carnegie (1845-1892) the son of James Carnegie (1916-1892).

The family tree information notes he died 4 September 1891 the Bible states 14 September 1892. This mis-match of information will need to researched and clarified.

My Great Grandmother, who I was most fortunate to spend time with during my childhood,  is featured on the Children’s Names page.  Elizabeth Frances born Sept. 5, 1872. She lived until she was age 93 in 1965.

carnegie_family_bible

Treasured Collections – What Do We Do?

The word is getting out there.  I have been joining various groups around the community to spread the word to explain what exactly Treasured Collections does!

We offer a service to catalogue family heirlooms, sports memorabilia, military artifacts or historical business objects. We create a ‘package’ which includes photographs, description, background information along-with supportive archival documents. This digital or paper document can be shared with generations to come.

Join my upcoming interactive-talk – Preserving the Stories Behind the Artifacts – at Bolton Branch of Caledon Public Library. Click to Register

Thank you to Patti Foley for helping to spread the word … this month’s newsletter in Caledon JustSayin‘  featured Treasured Collections.

The Joining of Families!

I am a retired museum Collections Manager and passionate about encouraging the community to catalogue their collections.

Yes, it takes time and if you don’t have time, Treasured Collections offers a service to do this for you.

Allow me to capture some stories, document and handful of inter-related artifacts and give the package (paper and/or computer version) to your parents or grandparents a gift.

Start with something that is not on display in the home:  A wedding dress hidden away wrapped in tissue. Photographing the dress, and wedding ensemble items, documented alongside a marriage certificate, and a wedding photograph – makes everyone smile.

Documentation contains, names, dates, parents, and grandparents names, places born and where the marriage took place.

London, England
Cecil William Bake (1895-1991) marriage to Agnes Ida “Bobbie” Parker (1899-1949). 12 August 1923. Upper Tulse Hill, Parish of St. Matthias, County of London.