A Thrifted Tea Cart, a Hearth Cricket, and Vintage Rugs

Heirloom Stories, Vol. 6

Most heirlooms have a story, and we want to know more of them. This Heirloom Stories interview series explores why people collect antiques and how special collectibles find new life generations after their creation.

Featured

Name: Maggie
IG: @wilfredhouse

What was the first antique you ever bought?

The first antique that I ever bought was with my husband, Joe! We bought an antique tea cart from Goodwill. At the time, we had never seen one before and thought it would be such a cool piece to have in our apartment or house one day (we didn’t even live together yet).

Maggie and Joe purchased this tea cart from Goodwill for $30.

It looked like it would be a fun project as it was covered in peeling and chipping paint. It was $30 and it seemed like an outrageous purchase for some college kids, but we bought it anyway. We still have it! It sits in our living room and houses our record player.

Do you have a meaningful heirloom that was handed down to you?

We have a few heirlooms that have been passed to us after living a life with someone else. My grandmother gave us her brass hearth cricket that she’s had for quite a while, although she doesn’t have a fireplace and just used it for decoration.

A cricket on the hearth is a symbol of good luck and health.

Hearth crickets are essentially good luck charms, and ours sits proudly on our fireplace hearth.

Also, my parent’s neighbors (who we’re good friends with) gave us this antique trunk that had been her mother’s. Her mother brought it from Italy to the United States when she immigrated over 50 years ago.

An Italian trunk given to Maggie by her parent’s neighbors.

If you could only acquire one category of antiques or collectibles, which would it be and why? 

If I could acquire only one category of antiques, it would be hand-knotted rugs. I can’t help myself. I think they’re so beautiful and so much work and effort and time go into making them. I love that most of them have to travel the world before they end up in our home.

Maggie appreciates the time and effort that goes into making handwoven rugs.

Joe would solidly choose to only collect electronics or things that have some sort of mechanical operation to them. We have a victrola, an antique radio, and a vintage Sprague fan and he’s in love with all of them.

Joe appreciates antique electronics as evidenced by this old radio.

I also have a major soft spot for antique furniture, especially Eastlake.

*Responses may be edited for length and clarity.

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