I think antiques are in my DNA. As a small child, I lived in our old family home in Greencastle, Indiana. I don’t remember much about this 1880 house, but it was filled with dark furniture that had carved details with beautiful fabrics that never wore out.
The two-story house had an attic filled with generations of fashions, photos and books belonging to my grandparents. I remember the carved fireplace, the cheerful porch swing, and the ramp to slide down. I loved the old leather dolls, the lacy petticoats, and the Eastlake chairs low enough for me to sit on.
In 1948, I moved with my family to an artisan bungalow in Indianapolis. Later, after the wedding, my husband and I lived in Southern California. Back in Indiana, we spent three years in Bloomington. Then in 1968 we moved into an 1856 Greek Revival house in Rensselaer that had been empty of people for years, but there were remains of carved and rolled furniture. These few pieces have been enriched during our 50 years in residence. A few beloved items come from my childhood home in Greencastle.
For reference purposes, an antique according to the Federal Trade Commission and the US Customs Service is defined as being at least 100 years old. It can be a work of art, a piece of furniture or a decorative object.
Recently I discovered a file of antiques listed in my favorite way, an ABC list. This list was created years ago when I gave a talk at the Ladies Luncheon at the Virgie Christian Church Community Hall. At that time, I had a store called Antiques & More on the northwest corner of Washington and Cullen streets.
I inherited the business name from Audrey Clark, who had operated an antique store in a former gas station on the southeast corner of Washington and Weston streets. I loved every working day in my shop.
Here is my relaunched ABC Antiques List so you can remember those parts of your family history:
A – ABC plaques, advertising, art glass and autographs.
B – Bakelite, Barbie dolls, books and hooks.
C – Carnival glass, chairs, china, coffee grinders and coins.
D – Daguerreotypes, Dick and Jane Books and Dolls.
E – Egg cups, Eisenberg jewelry, Shelves and embroidery.
F – Agricultural tools, flowering frogs, fruit pots and furniture.
G – Glass: cut, patterned and tinted; Gloves and granite.
H – Handkerchiefs, hat pins and holders, and Haviland.
I – Inkwells, Ironstone and Iron Stoves.
J – Jewels and Jewel Tea collectibles.
K – Kettles and other kitchen collectibles.
L – Lace, lamps, Lefton Chine, linens and lunch buckets.
M – Madame Alexander dolls, marbles and shaving cups.
N – Napkin rings, nutmeg graters and Wallace Nutting impressions.
O – Japanese goods occupied, oil cans and overhanging blankets.
P – Paintings, paper dolls, paperweights, postcards and pottery.
Q – Quilts and pottery from Quimper.
R – Discs, rocking chairs, rolling pins and ruby ââglass
S – Salts, sheet music, sterling silver, spoons and string holders
T – Teapots, teddy bears, textiles, toothpick holders and toys
U – Umbrellas, underwear and military uniforms
V – Valentine’s Day and Van Briggle Pottery
W – Wades, wall pockets, watches, weathervanes and Willow items.
Y – Long prints and yellow articles.
This is a short list compared to all the antiques that could fill a 2021 Kovels Antiques Price Guide. New homes with young owners can have these special collectibles from friends, families, or flea market purchases. What treasures do you have in your surroundings that give you memories of people, places and things from the past?
For help with your past, contact our Jasper County genealogist, Sue Caldwell. Learn more about a place in Jasper County with me or Melissa Smith at the Rensselaer branch of the Jasper County Library. Visit the Jasper County Historical Society Museum on the first and third Saturdays of each month at 479 N. Van Rensselaer Street, Rensselaer from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please wear masks and social distancing.