A Lengthy-Standing Custom
Yearly, Richard Hallee-Griffin’s grandfather adorned his formal parlor with hand-painted nutcrackers representing the three Magi.
So far as he can guess, that’s the place his fascination with nutcrackers stems from, and why — alongside together with his husband, Larry Griffin — he decorates their library each Christmas season together with his assortment of 100 nutcrackers, all in numerous sizes, shapes and colours.
(In addition they embellish nearly each room of their stately 1846 Woonsocket residence — dubbed Griffin Manor — for Christmas, however that, expensive readers, is a narrative for one more day.)
How It Began: He purchased his first nutcracker in Germany as a seventh grader touring Europe with an All-American band. “It’s wanting a little bit ratty now, however I nonetheless put it up,” he says.
How It’s Going: The gathering now stands at round 100 items, comprised of every thing from Bombay Firm collectible nutcrackers to a penguin, drag queen, surfer, pirate and even tiny saltshakers. They vary in measurement from 2½ inches excessive to a 6½-foot life-size mannequin that appears like a terracotta statue standing on a drum.
Greatest Rating: A twenty-eight-inch-high light-up crystal nutcracker (new within the field) he discovered at both Goodwill or the Salvation Military.
Phrases of Knowledge: Beware the stable brass nutcracker. “I dropped it on my foot as soon as,” says Hallee-Griffin. “You don’t wish to do this.”
Favourite Items: He loves the life-size terracotta one, in addition to the crystal light-up mannequin. And, in fact, his grandfather’s set, which Hallee-Griffin inherited after his passing. However his all-time favourite must be the sequin zebra-print nutcracker full with a full fur hat and feather. “It’s actually cool and simply actually completely different,” he says. “I’m drawn to that one yearly.”
When she was a little bit lady, Libby Gudz-Reynolds would fortunately whereas away just a few hours on a Saturday organizing her grandfather’s journal titles for $2. As she gazed on the bookshelves in his front room, she’d assume, “Sometime, I would like a complete library for myself.”
She’s since realized that dream, turning one room of her North Smithfield residence right into a color-coordinated riot of vintage books, operating the gamut from youngsters’s tales and poetry to Rudyard Kipling and fantasy titles, gardening and historic homes to Frank Lloyd Wright and the fundamental works of Aristotle.
“Colours make me really feel good,” she says. “They make you’re feeling a sure method — it’s type of like an journey. Generally I simply are available right here and seize no matter seems to be like enjoyable.”
How It Began: Three years in the past, her assortment had about 100 books.
How It’s Going: It’s grown into “many tons of, no less than,” Gudz-Reynolds estimates.
Poison Pen: She stays away from emerald-green books, since arsenic was used within the nineteenth century to get the brilliant hue.
Fan Fiction: In highschool, she was launched to the transcendalists, sparking a lifelong love of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s works. She buys nearly any Emerson e book she finds. She additionally loves books with weathered, lived-in seems to be.
“I like when the spines are falling off — they appear actually spooky,” she says. “Once they’re previous, weathered, cracked, peeling and falling off.”
Deal Breaker: She principally stays away from grey, though she does have just a few silvery titles, together with one about pirates.
Scouting Websites: Most of her books are from Antiques Alley in Greenville, from a vendor who has a sales space overflowing with volumes.
Bottle-digging is a household affair for cousins Tiffany Davis and Crystal Riley-Voigt.
It began one fall day in 2019, when Riley-Voigt was mountaineering in a public space and noticed one thing glistening within the grime. “How horrible,” thought the North Kingstown resident. “Have a look at all this trash within the woods.” However after a little bit digging — actually and figuratively — the duo found the heap of glass shards was actually an previous household dump, possible situated on an previous farm property within the days earlier than municipal trash providers. They began digging full drive in spring 2020 and turned their trinkets and mutual love of household heirlooms and antiques right into a budding small enterprise, Frankie’s Attic, based mostly of their joint sales space at Jules Antiques and Basic Retailer in Richmond.
How It Began: After discovering their proverbial gold mine, Davis and Riley-Voigt shortly educated themselves on bottle-digging etiquette. (The primary rule of Bottle-Digging Membership is you don’t dig on personal property with out permission.)
How It’s Going: They’ve just about exhausted the primary web site and have since moved on to new spots. (The second rule of Bottle-Digging Membership is you don’t poach websites the place another person is clearly digging.)
Favourite Finds: A Colgate and Firm rest room water bottle (with fragrance nonetheless inside) from the late 1800s/early 1900s is one in all Davis’ favourite discoveries. So, too, is the amber Caldwell’s Rum bottle from the Nineteen Fifties embossed with a ship and rum barrels, and a circa-Twenties aqua Turk’s Head Drinks bottle from Windfall.
“It’s all the time enjoyable taking them residence and soaking them and getting them clear,” says Davis, who lives in Warwick. “It’s like a shock.”
Dream Decanter: Davis would like to discover a poison bottle. Riley-Voigt has one, a cobalt-blue triangular Triloids poison flask.
Learners’ Suggestions: “It’s by no means too late to start out a brand new passion,” Davis says. “If you wish to do it, do it.”
Beginning From Scratch
Mary Jane Ferland has all the time beloved antiques.
When the Charlestown resident isn’t refinishing furnishings or discovering items for Granary Farmhouse Antiques, the enterprise she owns together with her husband, Christopher Denneny, she’s trying to find treasures. Her newest fixations embrace Rumford Baking Powder objects and classic laundry potions to enhance her heart chimney colonial, a copy residence she and Christopher bought in 2019 and are renovating to appear to be an 1800s farmhouse.
Why Rumford? Ferland grew up in Seekonk, behind Central Avenue, near Rumford. (Rumford Chemical Works, which manufactured Rumford Baking Powder, was based in 1856 in East Windfall. The revamped buildings now home a Seven Stars outpost, Avenue N, residences and several other small companies.)
How It Began: She began scouting for Rumford objects in 2019. “It type of went hand in hand with adorning the brand new home,” she says.
How It’s Going: After scoring one tin at an public sale, her assortment has grown to about thirty objects, together with vintage Rumford cookbooks, tins, recipe playing cards and a framed portray by native artist (and good pal) Mike Bryce.
Scouting Websites: She finds many treasures at Jules Antiques and Basic Retailer in Richmond, the place she has a sales space and works just a few instances per week, and on the Antiques Market in Putnam, Connecticut. Plus, “each time we journey we go to completely different vintage shops within the space,” she says.
Most Distinctive Piece: A Rumford Baking Powder (Rumford Halsosamma Bakpulver) wood crate used to ship items to Sweden. Forvaras pa torrt stalle! (Retailer in a dry place!)
Different Collections: She’s beginning an Autocrat assortment based mostly round her great-grandmother’s espresso grinder.