Antique Owl

Beady eyed bird looking for collectables and design stuff

Grandma’s Babycham glasses

When I started writing this blog it was supposed to be about my small inherited collection of Babycham glasses; the designs and differences between them, but once I started writing I realised it was actually about my grandma, what happened when she died, and why I think it’s relevant to this blog. I hope its not too autobiographical or self indulgent.

When my grandma died, I remember a few strange weeks of clearing out her house. Looking back I can remember a lot of things, which, if they crossed my path now I would certainly snap up for my own house; a heavy coloured glass dish which sat in the window of the front room stands out clearly in my memory, but I also remember lace and crochet doilies, a teasmaid, a cinefilm video, and a wooden lamp in the shape of a windmill, as well as hundreds of other bits and pieces including some fairly ugly toby jugs!

My grandma would have students stay with her from all over the world, and when she died we found beautiful fabrics, pictures and all sorts of gifts she’s been given. At the time though, aged about 13, I didn’t see these things as treasures, built up after a lifetime of collecting or that these might be special gifts from other people which had sentimental value.

I was young and saw these as things without relevance which didn’t belong in my life, were old and out of date. But that feeling did make something click in my mind; at 13 something within me resolved that I should collect and make sure that one day when my children and grandchildren are clearing my house, that they would find things of value.

The thought of leaving nothing behind scared me more than anything else, and I think I’ve been on a mission to search for rare, possibly valuable things ever since; be those rare vinyl toys, limited edition screen prints or vintage nicknacks.

In the bottom of a cupboard though I found a collection of Babycham glasses which spoke to me like very few other things in my grandma’s house ever did. When I pulled them out of the cupboard they spoke to a romantic aspiration of having a house of my own where people would come round for parties and we would make cocktails or other drinks for them.

For years they lived wrapped in paper in my parents house until I finally had room for them, and now they’re living in the back of my cupboard. They did come out when we had a party once, but only at the end of the night when there were no glasses left!

I’ve got 13 glasses in total with three different designs from the 50s and 60s. My favourites are the ones below which have a hexagonal stem and a quite simple white fawn design…

I’ve not seen any of these out and about, and only a few online the stems make them much more interesting than the later designs with the brighter deer designs on them, even though they are more well known.

I’m sure there are lots of other people my age basically buying the taste of their grandparents at the moment. And I started off in a very middle class knowing way loving these things ironically, but now, I dont think there is any irony anymore.


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This entry was posted on June 24, 2012 by in Owling at home and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

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All copy on this blog remains the property of Samantha Villis. Please ask permission copying or re-blogging. I dont bite. Images are my own unless otherwise stated. I try to give credit for images whenever possible.
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