Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chalkware Sheep

Baa!  I found a flock of sheep!

I have been thinking about the nature of personal collections lately.  The idea that often people are known for loving a particular object, place (Paris!) or animal and collect items that are in that shape or have that image on them. 

When I was in second grade, my teacher loved owls.  She wore owl pins to school, had owl pictures on the wall and, of course, a cartoon owl on a mug on her desk.  When we went to her apartment for dinner (Yes, she invited 4 students at a time to dine at her house!  For second grade, we felt very grown up.), I was blown away by her virtual sanctuary of owl collectibles.  I had never seen anything like it.

A few weeks ago, I bought these chalkware sheep at our church's rummage sale.  They are antique and since I have an affinity for sheep (remember my desire to photograph them in England?) , I had to get them.  While I was wandering the sale, I noticed quite a few other objects in the sheep motif and bought a framed photo of sheep from the 1920s.

I knew that a friend at church had been packing up her house, retiring and moving down south, so I went out on a limb and asked her,  "I bought some darling chalkware sheep - could you have given them to the sale?  And a vintage print.  It seemed like someone had donated a collection."

You can call me Nancy Drew, because they were, in fact, hers!  It was wonderful to be able to tell her that they had gone to a good home.  She was so happy to hear that I like sheep that she entrusted me with the rest of her tabletop sheep collection!  It was very sweet of her to pass these items along to me.  They were not pieces she wanted to take with her; they were things that she had loved, but that now it was time for her to move on.  I still don't collect sheep, but I feel honored to be able to absorb her collection and ease her transition to a new life down South. 

Which brings me back to collecting.  Do you have a plan to pass your treasures along?  Would a library treasure your historic map collection?  Would a historical society like your quilts?  I haven't figured out what I will do with my collections (everything from vintage ornaments to paper houses), all I want is for them to continue to bring delight.  

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