Saturday, September 15, 2007
The Journey of Nellie
This tale is of great length and I have so much to share. I have decided to follow the lead of the famous novelist Charles Dickens. He would submit chapters to the broadside (the newspaper of the early 1800s) that would allow his audience to indulge in the story as it unfolded before them.
Welcome to the Journey of Nellie, Part I
Several years ago I was asked to give an appraisal on some items that were coming up for auction in a nearby town.
It was a living auction, meaning that the sweet little lady, well into her 90s was still alive and participating in identifying the articles. It was a multi-generational home full of treasures from both her and her late husband's families. Her name was May.
As she took me from room to room and told me the stories of her beautiful pieces it was a journey back in time.
May unwrapped a couple of the quilts that I was intrigued by and she explained they had belonged to her great aunt Nellie. I spent two weeks with this adorable creature looking over the inventory and discovering things long forgotten. There was so much for sale it would take two weekends to complete.
The first Saturday of the auction I found a small diary and a little stack of letters tied with a faded ribbon lying in one of the showcases. I picked up the journal and inside the cover the owner had left her script, Nellie C. Fitts, Shrewsbury, Mass., the year was 1883. Could this be May's great aunt who also owned the quilts? I was captivated.
I roamed about looking at all the other goodies, through the barn, across the lawns, on the front porch and under the big oak tree. I saw the two quilts draped over a rack far away from the case that held the precious tokens that lured me back to them.
As luck would have it I purchased the diary, letters and some family photos. I was disappointed I had missed out on the quilts, but content in the fact that I was now the caretaker of these other timeless effects.
I took the tiny box of items home and placed it on the corner of my desk.
To be continued...
Posted by Susan McShannon-Monteith at Saturday, September 15, 2007