Trinkets On My Vanity

I’ve been getting more and more enthralled with the “manual” function on my camera, and I’m really starting to learn how to, y’know, use it.  I’ve been taking pictures of everything!  I took this picture of some items haphazardly collected on my vanity dresser, in my bedroom, in the dark, and while looking at this photo, I realize that each of these things has a story.

The green figure on the left is a jade wolf brought to me from China, by my best friend in high school.  She moved to China when we were both about 15/16 years old, and when she would come back to visit, she’d bring “gifts from China,” she would always say with a grand flourish.  I remember her telling me that the Chinese were deathly afraid of wolves, and that wolf-themed gifts were hard to find.  She called me “Lobo” for a nickname.

The pendant below the jade wolf was a gift from Jenny S., who is always bringing me completely unexpected presents.  She said it reminded her of me because of the stag I drew on one of my American Duchess t-shirts.

The little naked woman is not actually naked! She has on a bathingsuit, maybe it was painted in at one time, or maybe meant to be “nude.”  She came to me after my great grandfather died.  He had an odd collection of slightly naughty things.  She says “made in Germany” on the bottom.

The earrings actually belong to my mother.  They’re vintage, and she leant them to me to wear with my Baroque gown last weekend, but they are clip on earrings and I didn’t want to lose them, so I did not wear them.  Oh how I covet these earrings – I don’t want to give them back!

The little frame the earrings are resting on has somebody’s painting of a little white dog standing on a chair, looking out a window.  I cut it out of a magazine because it reminded me of how Avi would stand on the trunk under the window and look out all day, waiting for me to come home from work.

The bracelet is vintage costume jewelry from an enormous collection that came back from Texas when my grandmother moved out here to Nevada, and the house in Texas was cleared out and sold.  My cousins and I used to play with these glittery rhinestone pieces ALL DAY LONG when we were kiddies.

I can’t help but want to surround myself with things like this.  Sentimental things, pretty things, vintage things.  My collection is growing, between teacups and trinkets like these :-).


  • The Dreamstress

    July 2, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    I love the saucy little lady! (and if antiques roadshow is anything to go by, she is quite valuable)

    Those earrings are gorgeous. I use double sided tape on both sides of my earlobes when I wear clip ons. But I'm still not sure I would risk those at Gaskells.

    And I am beyond envious that your camera will do so much manual stuff. I really miss having a camera I can make do stuff!

  • GentlewomanThief

    July 2, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    Oh, you've just taken me right back to being a little kid again – when my Mum and Aunts were talking about 'boring grown up stuff', I used to always go to my Nan's room and put on ALL her jewellery at once, some heels and a few scarves for good measure, then come and parade for the grown ups and Nanny would always say "Here comes Lady Godiva!" Now I, too, have a few of her pieces.

    What a lovely memory to be reminded of and lovely little moments of yours to hear about, too – I'm the same with sentimental and vintage trinkets.

  • American Duchess

    July 2, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    Dreamstress – double sided tape! ouch! but a good idea. These particular earrings are quick slick, too, so I definitely didn't wear them to Gaskells. I'm trying to figure out a way to keep them from my mom forever, hahaha. I've not had any of my vintage thingies appraised, like the little lady. Now I'm curious, since you said that!

    Thief – Lady Godivas! I was never much into jewelry and dresses until I got older, but I always loved all this vintage jewelry stuff. My tastes ran towards the simple and elegant, like that bracelet, although I have a hat box FULL of jewelry that mostly doesn't fall into that category, haha. It's really cool to be able to dig around in the box-o-jewels and find something to add some vintage appeal to an outfit, though. I pulled out some white beads the other day and wore them with a navy blue 1960s dress. perfecta!

  • American Duchess

    July 3, 2010 at 8:36 AM

    Thanks a lot, Dreamstress, now I'm all obsessed with appraising my little lady. I did some looking, and she's from the 1920s, is German Bisque, with the mark 5695. I've found others in the series, going for between $75-200, depending on the seller. WHOA. I had NO idea! You know how many times I've knocked her over!? she has no damage, thank goodness, and it looks like her little bathingsuit and cap are supposed to be bisque-coloured, not painted, although her shoes are red. Very interesting – thanks for putting me on the trail!

  • Finegan Antiques

    July 7, 2010 at 12:44 AM

    It never ceases to amaze me how trinkets can stir such strong memories and emotions. All are precious especially the ones our family and extended family has given us over the years. It defines them and us as individuals.


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