June 6, 2011

Wearing History


When I touch an object that has a history, my imagination can’t help but run away along the times it must have lived through.

I can’t restrain myself from buying old postcards and imagine someone writing them 100 years ago, the addressee treasuring the card for years and years, displaying, maybe even framing it.

Chipped porcelaine, however ugly, will always make me think of huge family lunches, kids running around the table, accidentally tripping and breaking the still missing piece off. 

Books whose pages were turned by countless people before me, who read the same lines I’m reading and maybe thought similar thoughts.


Objects like these have value that has nothing to with their actual worth as it also depends on your ability to see it. 

Like this belt which used to belong to my grandfather when he was a boy scout before the Second World War. It even has the date stamped on it, and the Budapest address of the scouting shop.


I already see my grandpa as a little boy, walking the streets of a very different Budapest, stepping into the shop while the bell rings to notify the salesman. I can also see him somewhat later, wearing this same belt, proudly frying pancakes in the middle of a forest, on a fireplace constructed in a ditch. (He told me about this when I was very small, and it apparently got stuck in my memory – maybe because the story involved sweets.)


For me, objects that have a past mean much more than a brand new designer piece. Not that I own any designer stuff - I just know that buying one of them wouldn't make me feel the same joy when I find an old, battered but beautiful object, that's seen more of the world than me. It’s truly an amazing feeling to "wear history". I find this piece much more precious than any brand new accessory. 

Belt: Used to belong to my late grandfather, dress: Second hand, Jeans: Takko, 
Sandals: Bata, Earrings: C&A, Ring: Jojó Art Shop

26 comments:

Sarah said...

i completely agree! this is why i love thrift stores so much- everything has a past and it's fun to imagine who used/wore the item before you did!

Madeline Quaint said...

That's right, time is another dimension of an object - and an added value.

fashionforgiants said...

Very well written. You've exactly captured my reasons for loving old items too. And I LOVE this belt, it's amazing.

Madeline Quaint said...

I'm glad to hear that you agree, Gracey! :)

Kirstin said...

Wow, I love how you were able to wear your grandfather's belt, so neat!

Madeline Quaint said...

It's the most adjustable belt I ever set eyes on. He used to wear it as a small child, but there's enough leather in there for a grown man with a beer obsession. :D

Sarah said...

What a beautifully written post and so personal, too! I would have loved to have seem more of my grandparents' things before they passed away because I know their homes were packed with history. I love looking through things at thrift store, estate sales, and the like because there are so many interesting, worldly objects. You captured it so well when you said there are beautiful objects that have "seen more of the world than me."

Lyddiegal said...

I love that you've got such a unique piece of your grandfathers history and the memories attached to it. you wear it well.

Lea said...

Love the rich pretty color of your blouse :D And I also love items that belonged to family members at some point or another.

Madeline Quaint said...

Thank you Sarah, it means a lot that you liked reading it!

I think our imagination can help us appreciate objects we would otherwise only regard aesthetically. If we see another facet of a life of an object (accessory or otherwise), we can enjoy it more.

Madeline Quaint said...

Thank you, Lyddie. It's good to wear memories, old or new!

Madeline Quaint said...

Thank you, Lea, the colour was what I fell in love with. :)

Mordrian said...

Thats exactly how i feel when i see/touch something with history behind it! I really just go to another world and start wondering about it and it's origins

Madeline Quaint said...

Hi Mordrian, it's an amazing feeling, isn't it? A bit like a supernatural power, but really, it's just our imagination.

Girl and Closet said...

I love the idea of wearing history and there is so much of it in Europe, this is such an amazing belt and I'm also loving that dress ...what a lovely second hand item, such a beautiful colour on you. xx veronika

Madeline Quaint said...

Thank you, Veronika! :)

AnnaBananaCupcake said...

I totally agree with you about wearing history. That is why I love vintage clothing and going to flea markets. I love to think about the life something had before I had it. Also, your dress is so pretty with your hair color. Darling!
XOXO

Titine Totoche said...

Hello!! Thanks for visiting my blog, glad I got the shirt length right, and I did have some picasa problems so my pics weren't visible.

The belt is amazing, I totally agree with the value aspect being greater than the actual monetary worth, I feel the same about a pair of earrings that belonged to my great grandmother. You get this feeling that money can't buy, plus you also feel a family connection no?

Oh and I also really like your shoes hehe!!
Bye! ;)

Britty said...

that pretty awesome you still have your grandfather's belt that sweet i love things that has alittle history to it! nice dress

Madeline Quaint said...

I'm glad you aggree! Yes, as you say it, objects have lives even before they end up with us. :)

Madeline Quaint said...

Oh, I was worried that Blogger had something against Hungarian IP addresses, as all the other commenters saw your pictures. :) Anyway, glad it's sorted out!

And glad you aggree about how objects can be more special that their monetary value would suggest. :)

Madeline Quaint said...

Thank you, Britty! :)

The Cat Hag said...

Hey Sweetie, you look beautiful in this outfit! ♥♥ I love the belt so!

I am the exact same as you! I always love imagining where a vintage item has been, who has loved it before me and what they did with it and where did they go...

I even do the same thing with people I see on the street haha, imagining their lives and loves. :) I am creepy!!


xoxo,
Addie
The Cat Hag

Madeline Quaint said...

It's great fun, I think, and not creepy at all. :)

I find it much more difficult to guess people's backgrounds than of objects though! So instead sometimes when I'm travelling on the tram, I imagine dressing people up in clothes that would suit them better. I know, stylist overload!

Jo Fletcher said...

Goodness, it is a truly beautiful belt! And it goes with the purple colour perfectly!

x
www.lostinthehaze.com

Madeline Quaint said...

Thank you, Jo! :)