Who influences your love of antiques?

By Antoinette Rahn

From time to time we ask the members of the Antique Trader audience questions that pique our interest. The topics vary, but often the answers tie back to the people, places, and objects that inspired someone’s love of antiques, collectibles, vintage items, and art. 

Here are three answers to such a question….

Folks Help Shape Love of Antiques

My parents have influenced my love for antiques since I was a child.

Nelda Rachel's parents

Nelda Rachel’s parents on an antiquing adventure. (Submitted photo)

My mother and my father had a coin collection in Chicago and encouraged me and my brother to collect as well. That collection soon went by the wayside; however, after our move to Tennessee, my mother, brother and I would traipse old woodlots, ditches, and abandoned farmland and dilapidated houses for old bottles. (Many of these abandoned houses soon fell in or were eventually buried to make more farmland; others were in nearly inaccessible places that even I can’t find anymore.) Our bookshelves held more bottles than books!

Both parents had some of their ancestral dishes, too. My mom and I have recently been on many antique excursions trying to fill out those old dish sets. Some of those dishes now fill my grandmother’s old pie safe. It’s all been great fun!

— Nelda Rachels

Heeding Grandparent’s Counsel Inspires Love 

You ask who inspired us to be interested in antiques and collectibles and right away, I thought of my Grandpa.

Whenever I visited him and my grandma in New Bedford, he’d take me with him to flea markets and such, counseling me to haggle — fairly, of course ­— and to buy what I like. He was a huge book collector, his house was filled with books of all kinds and I have some of those books now, some really old little books, and the oldest is from 1829. He also collected bottles and coins, and his collecting of those things enriched his life and forged many friendships with folks from all over the world. My Grandma loved glass insulators; she kept some on her windowsills to catch the light.

For me, owning something from before my time links me to it, and to the people who made it, owned it, and cherished it as I do now. I look forward to reading others’ inspirational stories in future issues. 

— Karen Edwards

Time Flies Quickly, But Memories Stay The Course

Antiquing has always been in my family. As my brother, Dave and I were growing up, we went everywhere with Mom and Dad. Webster’s Dictionary says an antique is at least 100 years old. Yet, in the car world some might say 25 years old is an antique. I call most stuff collectibles.

Dave and I are in our 50s now. When we use to see antique toys they were made out of iron, and the furniture out of oak — built to last.

I look at Mom and Dad now and to me they look the same as they did 30 years ago. I always felt that Dad was made out of iron, and Mom the same. Built to last forever.

Well, I just saw a bend in that iron, my Dad is 77 and just had a quadruple bypass. It makes you realize you better enjoy every minute you have with them, because unlike antiques and collectibles, they cannot be replaced. Our dad has been out of surgery for a week now. I can’t wait for him to come home – as I told him I still need him. I need him to find some more old lighters.

Thank God our mom is still in excellent shape; we thought dad was also.

I can’t wait to hit the flea markets with mom and dad again. It’s inevitable we will lose them both in time. I just thank God it’s not time yet. When that time comes it’s going to be a crushing blow. Then it will be Dave and I at the flea markets talking about,  ‘remember mom liked them, and dad had those.’ They will always be with us, and for me, I’ll still have my brother, Dave.

— Richard Bolger


This article originally appeared in Antique Trader magazine

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