Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Pinch of Provenance, or, A Bit of Backstory

If there's one thing I love about antique and vintage goodies (especially photos), it's the background stories that go along with them... or, if you prefer the proper term, their provenance.

Recently, while driving about on a Saturday, my dearest spotted a yard sale and suggested we stop. I'm glad we did, because I found a fabulous late 1940s framed photo featuring a group of girls in sparkly hula costumes - perfect for our mid-century tropical/tiki-themed living room!

There was no price on the picture, but when we asked, the 50-something-year-old woman holding the sale said, "$5.oo?" in a rather tentative way. My dearest enthusiastically replied, "Sold!" I don't think she was expecting such an immediate positive response because she looked a little surprised. When I commented that it was a really neat and unusual picture, the woman told me that the photo was of her aunt's dance class. Apparently, her aunt had taken dance lessons when she was a girl and this was a photo of the whole class in their recital costumes. The woman also mentioned was that she'd offered to return the picture to her aunt, but the aunt has a copy of the photo and didn't need another one (yay for me!).

Now, why the heck didn't I ask which girl is the aunt??

Oh, and I got this swell coconut monkey from the same sale too, but no provenance for this primate...

Don't you love knowing just a little bit about your treasures' backstories?


Adri said...

Knowing the story of a piece is so swell! That's why I find it so important to initial and date all my cross stitched or embroidered pieces, but I am taking it upon myself to include a little story attached to the frame as to why took on the project. So future generations can discover a little history :)

Zootsuitmama said...

Yes! Then I can fill in the rest with my imagination! Cute stuff and fab picture! Zootsuitmama

Emily said...

I totally love knowing where all my old junk is coming from. Then I can imagine what kind of a life it had before it joined mine!