PRICELESS

There was a time when many items in my world were priceless. Many of them were items without significant dollar value, but they had great emotional or sentimental value. Then came a time when I realized these priceless things had morphed into dust collectors. I enjoy them, but they are long past priceless and have become part of the stuff I will I would happily give to someone who would treasure them — and dust them — rather than me.

Antique Famille Rose porcelain plate

Very old Han pot, Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–220 A.D.)

Funny thing about the way things change. The stuff that was priceless becomes clutter. Attractive, elegant clutter. Much of it becomes burdensome instead of priceless, unless priceless also means no one is willing to pay to take it away. I suppose that might be another interpretation.

Now, life is priceless. Maybe, honor, too.

31 thoughts on “PRICELESS

  1. I just got a note from Texas Tom, asking if we wanted his collection of DVDs. They’re off loading stuff. I said – “Thanks but no thanks. We’re trying to do the same thing here”.

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  2. Price is not important, it is the meaning and memories that are important. I have a collection of stuff from my grandfather, I even paid for a lorry to bring 10 volumes of history books from the beginning of the 20th centuary from London to Switzerland because my grandad collected them. Mr. Swiss has his sentimental relics as well, and one day they might, or might not, be annoying our son with the dust they collect. That’s the way it goes so let’s treasure our ornaments, they are irreplaceable and worth a dusting up now and again. Love your priceless memories, wonderful.

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    • Thank you. They are too beautiful to throw away, but I can’t find anyone to adopt them. They are very old pieces and need to be kept because they are disappearing fast from the world. I’m hoping I can find a new preserver soon!

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      • I will keep my fingers crossed that they find good homes. They are treasures and surely there’s someone special that you know that would want them. I love antiques myself so surely there are others like us in the world!

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  3. that vase from the Han dynasty is stunning. I can’t even comprehend anything that old. =) It would seem anything that old belongs in a museum–?

    I’ve been decluttering for two years, making spaces where none have been, and making my packrat husband very nervous. The Salvation Army is my biggest customer, perfect for the books, for the shrunken clothes (you know how they shrink if they stay in the dark too long…), for things that I didnt like when I got it (wedding presents do NOT improve with age) and finally realizing that as much as I loved my mother in law, she and I had wildly divergent tastes in clothing, furniture, and color.

    And I think we all have white elephants…I have an old upright piano that needs a home, and some 600 vinyl classical records. A small wood stove that right now is doing duty as a lamp holder, but may become a plant stand very soon…

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  4. I have a few Famile Rose pieces, too. A tall vase, a flawless bowl and a snuff bottle. Today I saw there is a Famile Rose ginger jar at the local thrift store and I was all ready to hurry down there when they open tomorrow — then, I thought, “Whoa, why? Where are you going to put it?” I have a very old Celadon wine bottle from Korea with cranes painted on with a one-hair brush. A collection of Ching dynasty wine pots… I really like all of them and I’m glad they are small. The ONE priceless item in this collection is a plate I bought and used in China. It was hand-painted and there is a spot of blue glaze where the painter made a mistake. I love it because it’s flawed and because I bought it in a shop in the village where I lived. I thought the design was beautiful but my Chinese friends said, “Why did you buy the cheapest pottery?” I should probably write a blog post about it sometime. πŸ™‚

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    • I have a HUGE famille rose giant ginger jar that I’ve never managed to rehome because it is simply too big to safely ship. It is missing its lid, but it is otherwise very close to perfect. That’s the one I most worry about. I was going to rehome it in Arizona, but I would have had to buy another airplane seat for it.

      All of my stuff is imperfect. In our price range, you can’t get perfect and I don’t mind things that show use. A chip here and a crack there … that’s just fine. I have some little pieces that I use to hold jewelry and one that holds other odds and ends in the bedroom. One nice Japanese plate with dragons and a very old, neolithic pot that I’m afraid to even dust. I had two Han pots. I gave one to my friend along with about half my collection. I can almost breathe now.

      If the stuff were perfect, a museum would take it, but it isn’t that quality. And there are no museums in Uxbridge.

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    • It is beautiful. I used to have half a dozen and have managed to find homes for the others. Some of this stuff is getting rare, so I do in fact need people who will not merely house it, but keep it so it doesn’t disappear. That’s hard to find since all of us are getting old on and have no guarantee of what will happen to our stuff.

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  5. I know, right? The value is in the connection made with the item, a time, a place, a person, an event, something shared with another. I so agree, over time, the memories remain, but the items become, sadly, dust collectors. Having said that, you have some beautiful pieces there. I agree, I’d sell them on kijiji however it’s spelled, or someplace like that which might ensure good homes that will appreciate their beauty.

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    • Okay, I never heard of that. The problem with my pieces is that except for one or two of them, they are not “official.” Value has a lot to do with being able to prove where your piece came from and having an official seal from somewhere. I have two Chinese pieces that were formally designated antiques in China. The rest were picked up here, there — and once, in a yard sale!

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  6. I have some exceedingly old heavy silver spoons. I use them every day to serve. One woman saw it and was horrified. Well to my mind, it’s special if you use it, what’s special about something stuck in a drawer you never look at or see…. same with some silver plates that are exceedingly valuable. I USE them, which offends and insults some, but hey, that’s what they were made for, lol. To enjoy. Just my thought on the few items I have.

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    • Garry was cleaning out his parents home last week. He found things he didn’t know they owned. Literally, never used. Not once. Clean, safe, in the cabinet. NEVER used. What is the point? I don’t use my very old antiques. They have miniature cracks you can’t see that will split easily. After 1000 years, most pottery is for looking only. Except i still have some larger pots that I keep fully of silk flowers. It isn’t ALL fragile … just some of it.

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  7. Whoever is around to take care of my place once my time has come is going to have to get an awful big dumpster to deposit all of my priceless things into. None of the things I put value in are worth anything to anyone else. Unless I should become famous, I guess, but that in itself would probably kill me…

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    • Most of our stuff is junk too. Some of it is very NICE junk, mind you, but no one wants it. Not for free. But the really old, rare antiques are special. They are part of history and I would like to know they will continue in this world. It’s hard to find anyone who has the room to spare and all our friends are getting rid of stuff too, so they definitely DON’T want it.

      We will ALL need a giant dumpster or three. The treasure of yesterday is the trash of tomorrow.

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    • No one wants it. It’s not just them. Their whole generation has no use for it. As a start, they don’t have room. And they don’t need a 72-piece set of matching porcelain for parties they will never have. Or stemware glasses for the elegant cocktails they won’t drink. We are ALL facing this problem.

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