The Secretary, Part II: The Treasures

As promised, let me tell you about the treasures in The Secretary.

Seashell

Ceramic Seashell from Alaska
Ceramic Seashell from Alaska
Close up of the inscription
Close up of the inscription

Prior to my arrival on the scene, my dad was in the Army and my family was stationed in Texas, Kansas, Ft Ritchie, and Alaska. This lovely ceramic seashell came from Alaska when they were stationed there in the early 60’s.

While they lived there, Mom had a dream that she had another baby – and woke up in a cold sweat and freaked out. I came along several years later.

Now this piece can hold your jewelry while you get your massage.

Cup and Saucer

Check out the bare feet!
Check out the bare feet!
Personalized with Mom's name
Personalized with Mom’s name

Over the years, my mom has always been involved in the local church or chapel, wherever they were stationed. She sang in the choir and even directed the choir and played the piano. One of her choir-mates painted this cup and saucer for her, with the splendid picture of Mom playing the piano in her bare feet.

Praying Hands

Praying Hands
Praying Hands

At some point in the family’s travels and living elsewhere in the US, Mom took up ceramics. She learned how to create ceramic pieces using molds and then painting them. She made this one and painted their names on it, so that they would always remember to pray for their family. My name wasn’t included as I wasn’t born yet. I guess they still prayed for me anyway.

Personalized Rabbit

Personalized Bunny
Personalized Bunny

Mom’s dad was a farmer, business owner, and substitute mail carrier. During the late 40’s and early 50’s, he was also a part of the Maryland House of Delegates.
Mom said that he got this little bunny for her…or even thinks he painted her name on it.

Milk Pitcher

Milk Pitcher
Milk Pitcher

In the 60’s and 70’s, my grandmother’s brother was partners in a car dealership on Rosemont Ave in Frederick, called Watkins Burdette Chrysler. He was the Burdette part of the partnership. The location of the dealership still houses a car sales lot, but it’s now a high end used car dealership.
My great-uncle married his wife without telling anyone – I heard they were both quite shy – and they had no children. When he passed away and it was time to clean out his house, my mom got this beautiful milk pitcher. Its simple elegance captures my heart, along with the memories of my sweet great-uncle.
It’s also a reminder that my family has been a part of the Frederick and surrounding communities for centuries.

Basin Water Pitcher

Water Pitcher
Water Pitcher

Before there was running water inside houses, people had to fetch water from a well, and they did not bathe regularly. They “washed up” at a “dry sink” with a basin filled with water from a pitcher. My mom thinks that this water pitcher from a basin/pitcher set was from the 1800’s and possibly used by my great grandparents, if not their parents. It’s not one of the pieces that was prominently displayed at Grandma’s house. I think we may have found it in the attic or something.
It’s heavy and beautiful. A true piece of history.

Brass Vase

Brass Vase
Brass Vase

I always have been fascinated by this vase. It sat in Grandma’s living room, on the Duncan Phyfe table. I had no idea what a Duncan Phyfe table was – but that’s what they called it. I had to Google the spelling, otherwise, I would have spelled it like a donut place and Sheriff Andy Taylor’s deputy. Apparently, it’s like now saying that you have an Ethan Allen piece of furniture.
Anyway, the markings on this vase appear to be from India. I don’t know the history of it, except that I have always thought it was pretty.

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