Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Preserving Family History

My mother-in-law, Mammaw Speck, pulls these little dishes out of the cabinet quite often and tells their story. They belonged to her great-grandmother Lelia (1864-1895) and I suspect they were part of Lelia's wedding china but there's no real proof of that.

The butter pat dishes (and the rest of the set) lived in the china cabinet in the butler's pantry in her grandmother's house in Williamsburg, Virginia. She was allowed to play with them as a child and thought they were sweet little doll dishes. When her grandmother passed away, an aunt inherited the china but gave the butter dishes to Mammaw Speck because she loved them so.

I thought it would be a good idea to draw the dishes and capture the story for family history. I wrote the story on a separate piece of paper and promptly lost it. That's why it's taken six months to post this drawing. Photos and paper are easily lost, but I'll hang on to my journal forever.

(The story in my handwriting is on the facing page. I spared everyone having to squint at it to make it out and slog through all the names, dates and locations of the entire Speck family tree.)

This toy tea set also belonged to Lelia. The handles are broken off one teacup and the creamer, and one "ear" handle is broken off the sugar bowl and its lid is missing. However, considering it is circa 1870, I think that's pretty good.

The tea set lives in a small, toy chest of drawers crafted from an old wooden cigar box. Several other small toys and treasures from Lelia's childhood are in there also.


Alex said...

Such valuable journalism. This things will always stay in your journal and in your heart. I wish that I could do the same but my family doesn't have a lot of history...yet ^^
Great drawings by the way!

Sherry said...

I think preserving stories and adding your art is a perfect way to journal. I'm a big fan of family stories. Love your sketch of the china.

Bénédicte said...

It is a great idea, keeping the family memories in a journal that will become a family treasure.
very nice sketches, I like your pink toenails too!