Manufactum.ch is a wonderful pot-pourri of beautiful things…
I enjoy the act of looking at the Manufactum catalogue – I don’t need to have all theexpensive things. Some things inspire me, just knowing they are there.
However, I love tiny things; small inexpensive objects… some of my favourite things have cost nothing whatsoever… shells, drift-wood, old keys, buttons… discarded papers…
And most of my treasured items have been gifts;
My grandmother’s thimble – which she gave me when she was teaching me to ‘dolly’ linen sheets.
Historically, a vessel for artists! The colour red was very precious and when painting with it, the artist filled the colour into a thimble…
In the house of Carnal Murals
The painter used it to hold a special red
He touched the lips and freshest bite marks with.
(‘The Thimble’ Seamus Heaney)
The Tilley Lamp; a visitor once brought me this prized object when we were staying in a cottage in Ireland, not realizing that I had always wanted one. The tiny oval shaped mantle is a delicate ivory coloured globe of shining silken weave… and like butterfly wings, shouldn’t be touched… Old fashioned oil lamps hold the brittle memories of my childhood – evoke the atmosphere of story-filled evenings at the generously logged, big open fire in my grandparent’s house in the mountains. They also remind me of a childhood where electricity breakdowns were often and pro-longed and the romance of toasting bread over the fire and cooking on a gas stove… I always loved electricity cuts.
My grandfather’s pocket mirror with built-in moustache comb – I loved him dearly. He taught me nature, imparted wisdom via osmosis. Although humble, this was a very treasured gift.
A simple kaleidoscope which sits on my writing desk – all glass and mirrors, inside a basic silver-coloured case. Brewster invented the kaleidoscope in 1816 almost accidentally, while doing experiments on light polarization. It was intended to be a scientific tool but he made a capital mistake in the wording when patenting and his invention ended up being copied and sold as a toy. Like a lot of old toys, I find kaleidoscopes fascinating. I bought this particular one as a present for someone else and realized when I got it home; I was of course buying it for myself. So I kept it.
Buttons especially white or mother of pearl buttons – they’re for opening things.
A journalist friend, an elderly gentleman, when I was leaving Florence, placed a most beautiful fan which was a family heir-loom on the table for me, with a note that he wanted me to have it. There were no women in his life and he felt that I was the one person who could appreciate it, adding; it suited my dress. I had used it during my stay when we went to a Barock concert in the courtyard of an old monastery in Florence on a warm summer evening. I couldn’t accept it. (I was 24 years old at the time) – I regret it to this day! One should never refuse a gift that comes from the heart. And one should never think when being offered a gift, whether one deserves it or not. It is to be received with grateful thanks and a warm smile.
Flowers leave some of the scent on the hand that bestows them…
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