Monday, August 14, 2006

Ponderings on karma

Well, the appraiser has been through, and while there were no real surprises (we won't be financing our entire restoration from the sale of an old pair of pliers found in the crawl space...), the bottom line is that we have some very nice pieces.

Most of them will be staying with us, but there are some that V and I are really torn about. Like I mentioned in a previous post, the huge cedar chest is chock full of all sorts of lovely linens and textiles. What to do with those? We're trying so hard to be true to the original intent of the house and its what does that mean for the baby bonnets? Or the fine linen towels? I'd love for them to go to someone who can appreciate them and give them the kind of home they deserve. But would I just be asking for a heapload of bad karma if I sold them? Should they be donated to a museum, if I can find a taker? That wouldn't help the financial situation with the house, though.

Sometimes I wish I didn't love this house so much. Then I wouldn't give a rat's behind about what we do with the contents that we cannot use. I don't want to live in a museum, but nor do I want to sell or give away things that truly should stay with the house.

All that said, I don't think I've posted any pictures of what we found in the chest. If I've already posted these, my apologies but too bad. You'll just have to look at them again!

I'm too tired to really caption these with any care or accuracy. Hopefully the pictures will speak for themselves.
This is a Victorian (?) sash belt with enameled buckle. LOVE this piece, just love it. No idea what to do with it because it sure wouldn't fit around my waist! (it's about 20" give or take)

Scarf or runner of some sort? No clue.

An absolutely GORGEOUS child's dress.

I was pretty clueless about this piece until the kind folks over at the eBay forums told me it's probably a piano scarf or a Victorian paisley shawl. It's about 6x6 or maybe 7x7 and is simply beautiful.

And here's a link to the whole shebang--at least what has been photographed and/or documented in some way. Mostly linens and porcelain. If you see anything worth millions please let me know. ;)

1 comment:

jm@houseinprogress said...

Argh! I know how you feel. BOY! Do I know how you feel.

Here's what we eventually did. If there were pieces that we could connect to someone in a meaningful way (ancestor of owner of the piece, member of boy scout troup that the flag we found belonged to, etc.), we gifted those. We also gifted a few things to a few friends and family who we knew had always wanted something like we found. We tried to limit the amount of things we kept by setting a number--say, 10--and chose 10 things. Of the remainder, we sold anything estimated to bring more than $50 on our site. Everything left, we gave away or donated.

It's tough to know what to do in these circumstances. We were concerned about karma as well. And we also faced the very real issue of needing to finance some things for the house. We saw it as a trade with the house itself...we sold some of the things it yielded to make it better, healthier and more beautiful. So far, the house has appreciated it.

Best of luck with what you decide to do.