Some Things Really Are Priceless

My husband and I have been fortunate enough to have been gifted some lovely pieces of family furniture recently and many others throughout the years. Some are antiques and some are not as old but are very fine handmade articles. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what they mean to me as someday these items will be passed down to our children. I wonder if they will have the same appreciation. I wonder if they will consider them “expensive antiques” or “priceless antiques”? There is a big difference. Let me explain. An expensive antique is a piece you can put a price tag on and let it be sold. A priceless antique is a piece that has sentimental value, one that you don’t consider the monetary value but you think of your relationship to the item or the person to whom it had belonged.

We recently acquired a fine dining table and chairs. I don’t think these are actually considered antique since they were built in the 70’s; however, these are beautifully handmade of walnut. What I really see beyond the beauty are fabulous memories. This is the place of much laughter over family holiday dinners. It is the table that I for the first time, after only dating my husband for a week, nervously met his extended family for Thanksgiving dinner. It is the same table I joyously returned to a month later for Christmas dinner. I envision my husband as a child coloring with his crayons at that table and then as a teenager doing his homework. This table symbolizes hospitality and love. It is priceless in my eyes.

We have countless pieces that belonged to both sets of his grandparents. We could never part with any of them. My favorite is an oak server with a mirrored back and claw feet. It is absolutely gorgeous. This belonged to my husband’s grandmother who died when his father was only about twelve. There are no memories of her attached to it, but is something that serves as a connection to her.

When my grandfather was placed in a nursing home, my mother and her sisters had an estate sale and sold the majority of his things. I bought two oak dressers. I don’t even really remember them in his bedroom or have any recollection of the dressers, but because they belonged to him I wanted them. Because they belonged to my beloved Big Daddy, I think of his sweet smile and gentle touch every time I open a drawer on either chest.

There are other pieces that I won’t mention or that actually deserves a post devoted entirely to it. I am grateful that we are the benefactors of such lovely pieces of craftsmanship. I hope that as we pass these along to our children that they feel the love and cherish the memories. For love and memories are priceless.

32 thoughts on “Some Things Really Are Priceless

  1. We also have a mismatched collection of items that I could never place a monetary value on. I fear our children will be great lovers of ultra-modern design and that our old sticks will end up at an auction.
    Cest la vie, eh suzi?

  2. You’re absolutely right, Suzi….

    “A priceless antique is a piece that has sentimental value, one that you don’t consider the monetary value but you think of your relationship to the item or the person to whom it had belonged.”

    The thing I love about priceless antiques is that they contain the “energy” of who owned it prior. It’s like you can actually FEEL the past.

    Lovely pieces!

    And yes, you can see the beautiful craftsmanship in them. They don’t make things like this anymore. Thanks for sharing the beauty.

    Happy Monday, dear lady!

    X

  3. Lovely pieces of furniture. I hope my kids are at least interested in the antique linens (tablecloths, napkins, etc.) that i have acquired. I also have some antique sterling flatware that I hope is passed on. But you just never know. They may decide to sell it all and just take the money!

  4. The story about the dresser brought a tear to my eyes. I’ve kept my father’s watch and his wallet and his clipboard and having possession of those things, makes me feel closer to him. You are right, you can’t put a price tag on sentimental items.

    • I think that is so sweet. My MIL gave my oldest son her father’s wallet with a few of the dollars he had in it. He never knew his great grandfather, but he has the wallet safely tucked away.

  5. I have a table that was my great-great grandmother’s. It’s the only thing I inherited that I was able to keep. It’s more precious to me than to any other piece of furniture in my house, and no, it will never be sold. I hope my boys enjoy it and want to keep it when it gets passed down to them.

  6. one thing I have always wanted- a table like the one my mom had when I was little. It had a grey marbley looking top and chrome around the edge. someday I’ll find one just like it.

    For now, I’m happy to know my mom’s quilts are in my closet, and hoepfully my kids will love them as much as I do one day.

  7. When I came to Australia 10 years ago, I had to part with many of the older furniture passed on from my grandparents and parents…. gladly still in the family with my son as he places great value on it too…nothing to replace sentiment like this. We hope it stays like that!! xx

  8. I would love to have family heirlooms, but our families had none. However, I have a funky ice cream scoop, absolutely nothing fancy, that I’ve had since my kids were little, and that’s the one thing I own that they argue about who’s going to inherit it. ????.

    Love yours – especially the table and chairs.

    • Love that about the ice cream scoop…you know I bought my grandfather’s ice cream scoop at the estate sale! There’s soemthing to be said about an ice cream scoop with good history!

  9. I perfer a priceless antique over an expensive antique any day.

    Beautiful furniture you pictured and what is even more priceless is the memories attached to each of them.

  10. Antiques or not, the memories are priceless. Some day they will be considered antiques when you pass them on to your kids/grandkids, but the history behind them will be worth more than the pieces themselves!

  11. Love those rich stains on the wood.

    It’s funny–I couldn’t wait to get my very own furniture. As an adult I realized several things: furniture is very expensive and the stuff I can afford is nowhere as nice as my parents’/ grandparents’ furniture, okay they hardly MAKE furniture like that anymore, and I actually LOVE it.

    It’s the quality, the look–but more than both, the sentimental value. Having furniture that belonged to my grandfather and grandmother (from different sides of the family) is something I consider an honor. Oh how perspectives change!

  12. I know what you mean. In 1905, my 4-poster, queen ann bed and dresser were built. My family did not acquire it until the 1970’s (from an old couple we did not know .. I don’t know how they parted with it). My sister and I shared that bed for several years. I spent an entire summer refinishing the woodwork in the 1980’s. It became a sentimental, family, heirloom. Although it does not fit the decor of my woodsy home, I can not part with it and still use it today.

  13. i’ve lost several wonderful family pieces due to my tendency to travel, and i feel a pain in my chest when i think about that … not the furniture, or the hurricane lamp itself, but what they represent, what they hold. future journeys will include a uhaul and storage unit… oh, and your table, if not antique, is retro, and I love it.

  14. Wow to have things from your family is quite the blessing. We have nothing from my side of the family but we do have two dressers from hubby’s father and two kitchen chairs from his grandmother. I treasure them!

  15. Sometimes my husband and I watch that show Pawn Stars on the History channel, and we are amazed at the things people pawn, especially the family heirlooms. I could never, ever get rid of something passed down in my family. It’s a piece of history. Your table and chest are beautiful and hold so many dear memories!

  16. I now am in possessison of several family heirlooms. Although I’ve been offered large sums of money for many of them, they and I could never part ways. As stated, I’m in POSSESSION of them. I don’t feel as if I OWN them. I’m just lovingly caring for them until they are in the possession of MY daughter….
    and so on and so on.

    Love the story of the table.
    It truly IS priceless.

  17. I would think that your children will be like you – if your children actually have memories attached to the furniture they will treasure it. Treasuring an item of people that they did not know might be a different story. Since it is in your home now you can build memories around it. It could be the sentimentality could skip a generation.

    For example your sons might not be/get attached to those dressers, but a grandchild might if you keep some special treasure in there that you let the child get. Or if they watch you use them and see how they make you smile.

    So I bet that somehow someone in your lineage will find the items you feel are priceless as priceless too!

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