A Walnut Buffet, an Heirloom Ring, and an Eclectic Desk

Heirloom Stories, Vol. 9

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.


Name: Shelly
IG: @brass.bed.manor

What was the first antique you ever bought?

I think the first true antique I ever bought was only a few years ago in 2017. It was a gorgeous 1920s walnut buffet that caught my eye on Facebook. This was on a local sale site before Facebook Marketplace became popular.

antique buffet

This was my first true antique. Everything I had before that was more along the lines of vintage or thrifted.

antique buffet
This buffet is the first antique Shelly purchased off of Facebook.

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

I only had one grandparent growing up, and that was my grandmother who I called Nanny. She didn’t have many heirlooms, but when she passed she left me a peridot ring, which was her birthstone.

vintage peridot ring

It was more of a costume-style piece. It was a large stone, but it was in a more gaudy 70’s band and was too small for my hands. I had it reset in a delicate gold rope setting. I wore it on my wedding day which was very special to me since she had passed several years before.

heirloom peridot ring

I am a very sentimental person and very family-oriented. That’s what makes things special to me. It may have been a cheap ring and not worth much, but it’s about the sentiment. It’s about the fact that she was the only grandparent I had ever had, and the endless Candyland games and summers at the pool. It’s all the memories I have of her that make that ring so special.  

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

Oh this is especially tough for me. Anyone that follows me knows I do not and cannot choose one style. When we first bought our house I was a little confused about what my style was. I am drawn to many different things and felt like I was getting pulled in so many different directions style wise when trying to decorate our home.

antique desk
Shelly likes to mix and match styles and recently acquired this eclectic desk.

For some reason, I felt as though I had to conform to one style and felt like a Victorian-style was appropriate for our house. At this point, I was under the impression our house was a ‘simple queen ann’ style. When we took the siding off and I realized our house is actually considered a Colonial Revival. I (obviously) did research on that style.

I learned that Colonial Revival homes are more or less a mixture of a ton of different styles. Learning this kind of solidified in my head that I CAN mix everything that I like, so that is what I began to do, and that is what feels most authentic to me.

vintage desk

ANYWHO, all of that long-winded story just to say if I HAD to choose a style, I would probably pick the federal style. Shocking because I don’t think I have a single Federal-style item. However, my favorite style of home is Italianate, and I feel like federal style really looks classic in that style of home. That would be my ultimate combination. 

*Responses may be edited for length and clarity.

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