Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's the little things that count - for me

I'm not a big collector of things, these days. In fact, at my age, I think it's better to start doing away with things!

I used to collect stamps when I was little, and learned a lot about the world. I also used to collect things and put them in my 'museum,' which was actually a dresser drawer lined with newspaper. I had some artifacts my grandfather brought home from the war -- a wooden snuff box, hand-carved by a soldier from a piece of tree trunk; a metal match-box holder he brought home from India, a hand-carved wooden crumb tray from China. Grandad also gave me some ancient Japanese shoes -- the kind the women would wear, with their feet bound in cloth and squeezed into the tiny embroidered slippers, to keep their feet tiny.

I found some fossils that my brother insisted were 'billions' of years old, and I had a coin, from 70AD, that I found in a trench in front of our house, that was being dug for new pipes to be laid, (while I was pretending to be excavating in Egypt or somewhere exotic).

I had an assortment of coins from around the world, and also some mosaic stones. The little coloured stones came from the floor of a Roman villa that my father took me to see one Sunday afternoon, not far from our home in Yorkshire. The villa was really in ruins, but the mosaic floor had been excavated and put together as best as possible, and my father hopped over the protective rope and took a little handful of the stones for my museum. I was so surprised that he did that, but I was pleased, also. I must say, though, that I wondered -- if everyone who visited the villa did that, there wouldn't be much of the floor left to see! I had many other items -- the collection was quite extensive, especially for a child to own.

I even typed up a little catalogue of my museum items - what they were, where they were found and approximately how old they were, along with any other little details I could discover about them.

Unfortunately, when I moved from the UK to Canada I had to leave them all behind, and ultimately my parents -- horror of horrors -- threw them all away, thinking they were just junk! I was devastated, but I got over it, in time.

Now I only have one collection -- miniatures from around the world, that I have either picked up in my travels, or someone has brought back from their travels....or I have found on e-bay. There are only two criteria that a miniature has to meet, to get into my collection. One is that they must be no larger than two inches high. As I show you some, see if you can guess what the second criteria is.My friend. Debbie, brought me back this tiny jug, from a trip to Greece. It is exactly two inches high, made of clay and hand-painted -- I love it.
This little watering can is so delicate, and I love the picture of the robins on it. It's also just two inches high. This was an e-bay find.
These came back with me from Romania. They are miniatures of the kind of pottery you would find in just about every home over there. Hand-painted and then glazed, the thinner one is just 1 1/2 inches, and the other is two inches tall.
I bought this one last year, in Conwy Bay, Wales. It has a picture on the front of The Smallest House in Wales -- probably the smallest house anywhere! And that's where I bought it, from a lovely lady dressed in the Welsh national costume -- because the house has been converted into a tiny gift shop. This delicate china mug also is two inches high.

I'll post some more of my collection next time -- but have you guessed what the second criteria is, for a miniature to end up in my collection?

1 comment:

  1. I'm guessing....they must have a handle???
    Your 'museum' pieces are very interesting. I didn't know you had all this stuff. A coin from 70 AD-- that's Roman times and it was found in Flamborough??! I have a couple of things Granddad gave to me -- a charm of Baby Moses in the bull-rush basket -- it opens and the baby is there and can come out. Also I have a King Tut sarcophagus, and He comes out if you open it, too. Then I have a pin of a petrified scarab beetle. I wonder what things Michael had from Granddad.