As September kicks into high gear and the Victoria Vintage Expo draws near I have been shifting my focus to this year’s booth presentation. This has me clicking through the Used Victoria ads for potential DIY options.
And so I picked up this table… it caught my eye because of its lines and glass top.
It’s made of mahogany, and was crafted over 40 years ago.
My initial thought when I answered the ad was for a quick makeover, most likely my usual go-to black spray paint, maybe turquoise, gold or white, to become an Audrey Would! prop… and then I met the owner. If you’ve followed my blog over the years you will know how much the stories behind the pieces mean to me, and with this piece I inadvertently tripped upon a story about the journey of ‘life’.
You might want to sit with a cup of tea for this read.
An elderly gentleman answered my knock. Well, actually it was after I twice rang the doorbell and then looked for another door just in case. He apologized for not hearing the doorbell, said he and his wife didn’t hear so well anymore. He invited me in, and the home was clearly in the throes of being undone. I asked if he was moving, and “yes’ was his reply.
We made our way to this little table, which he showed to me with pride. I asked how old it was, and it was in this moment that I knew the little table was more than just a piece being moved on. The gentleman told me his son made the table in high school, and his son is now 58. He reflected that he thought his son had done a good job – the table was very solid and in good shape, you know. Then he shared how he and his wife have taken very good care of it over the years… all 40-plus years of its life… he said they kept plants on it and used doilies to protect it, and that they were very careful when they watered the plants not to get water on the wood… He said they had cleaned the glass, but I would probably have to clean it again.
And then he told me that he and his wife were moving into a Seniors’ home. They were downsizing and so things like this table their son had made had to go… I could see the struggle in his eyes, and I could hear it in his voice. Moving this table on was not easy to do, but it was just too big to fit this next phase of their life. He told me about when they first bought the house how they had added on and incorporated a crawl space. And that in this downsizing move he discovered old assorted scrap metal stored in the crawl space he’d forgotten all about… and how he took it to the scrap yard where they actually paid him to take it away! This made him chuckle. He marvelled at the huge weigh scale to weigh it all out, and how this big scale could weigh things right down to the size of a coffee can with precision… but he says, everything is electronic now-a-days. We laughed about how in the old days a scale used the slide and weights…
We wrapped the table glass in a sheet I had brought, and he gently lifted it into my vehicle. I put the table in place, and he shifted my ‘in place’. Once he felt the table was a ‘secure’ load, we closed the hatch and money changed hands. He said again how his son had made the table and had done a good job, that the table had lasted all these years…
I promised him I would take very good care of the table, that I would give it a good home. And so… for now I will not be painting this table black or turquoise or white. I will not be adapting it for an Audrey prop at this year’s Vintage Expo. I will be giving it a light sanding and a fresh staining that brings out the mahogany red, and my Mr. and I have decided that we will be giving it pride of place in our home. Some things are meant to just be.
**UPDATE** The table has now been re-stained. Click here to see it pride-of-place in our home.
Thanks for stopping by!
Photograph courtesy of Used Victoria ad.