inherited antiques

While cleaning out the basement this weekend, D. brought out a box of doll house furniture that I requested from my parents last year. This box sat in the top of my closet at my parents’ house for the last 20 years and it contained pieces I had inherited from I do not know whom. I  know the furniture is old: that’s visible in the blue style of the kitchen appliances and the type of plastic used to form them. There are little dolls made in Hong Kong that look like they were to resemble American Farm Life of the 1950s. There’s a little boy with his naked butt showing because the hatch on the back of his pajamas has come open. How old is that image?

I decided to soak the pieces in a bleach solution because, to my knowledge, they had never been cleaned. I remember playing with the furniture when I was a small child … until my brother and second cousin had a war with their army men inside my doll house and destroyed a good bit of it.

I believe the furniture came from my mother and maybe some of it predates her childhood. How can you throw it out when you don’t know where it came from? But I did throw out the broken pieces, even some that could easily be fixed. I then sorted through the clutter and gave our daughter the parts that don’t seem so breakable and saved a few of the nicer pieces in a box on her shelf.

Striking in this process was the image of a hoard of toy furniture, not much different in appearance from a life-sized hoarding house.

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