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My View: Antique items don’t lose their luster |

My View: Antique items don’t lose their luster

By Shirley Palmerton

How many of you have wonderful antiques that have been in your family for years? Do you have a solid oak round table where you can put in leaves and serve at least 10 people? The table will stand there solid as a rock.


What about the dressers with drawers that slide in and out so smoothly? What about beds that your children can jump on to their heart’s content that will be as solid as they were before? What about end tables that don’t even move when loaded with all the books you want to read?

The solidness of these tables is not found in today’s furniture stores. Coffee table legs are screwed into wood that is not wood. They couldn’t sell them so cheap if they were. Instead of an inexpensive coffee table, why not use a wooden trunk with a flat top? It will serve as a coffee table and after you lift the top, it’s wonderful for games, pillows and secrets.

We who have these wonderful pieces of furniture love the look of solidness, warmth and beauty.

Many of our children have furnished their homes with modern furniture. Kitchen tables are now covered with something that looks like glass but it’s hard plastic. How many of you like to look at your feet or toys that weren’t picked up while you eat?

So many young families are on a dead run. Their children are involved in baseball, football, soccer or gymnastics, and when you stop and think about it, how many of them will still be involved with those when they graduate from college? I know you want your children to be with others but what’s wrong with them being involved with you?

Shirley Palmerton

A friend of mine’s mother brought her mother’s china with her when she came from England. None of her children want it now. They must be happier eating off plastic, paper plates or everyday china. Everyday china is fine, except using antique china on special occasions makes it all that more special.

My husband’s mother gave us her mother’s dinnerware. It was one of a kind. One Sunday I set the table with it and my children just stared at me. “What now?”

My husband sat at the head of the table and said, “Listen.”

I told them about the dishes. How old they were and how much more beautiful they were than our everyday dishes. I asked, “What do you think was the first meal ever served on these plates?” I got many answers and I’d ask, “Does food taste better on them?” My children knew I wanted them to value the dishes, but they are still in my cupboard.

A friend bought an old buffet. She had it refinished and put it in her bathroom. She had a plumber cut a hole in it for a sink and used it as a vanity. So practical. It had many drawers and center cupboards. Someone I know just spent thousands on a vanity and it’s not as eye-catching as the one that was just an old piece of furniture refinished.

You can find wonderful pieces at estate sales or auctions. Why are people letting go of all these practical and attractive pieces with their warmth and beauty? Look at the cherry, mahogany, walnut and maple furniture, and then look at what’s out there now. People in the past knew what to save. It had to last.

I have no idea what’s going to happen to all the things I love. They call them heirlooms, but none of our heirs want them.

Shirley Palmerton, of Eden, prefers furniture that was built to last.

Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off
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