Marcella's Secret Dreams and Stories book

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An Inherited Love of Antiques

What Marcella considered "old family furniture and keepsakes" that she was tired of in her old age, her daughters saw as treasured antiques and heirlooms they wanted in their homes. Some captions are brief since descriptive details and stories about the provenance of the cupboards, piano, and "Buckley Room" items are included in Chapter 23 of Marcella's Secret Dreams and Stories.

This is one of "Mother Hubbard's New Cupboards" that Olivine Williams used for decades. Probably handed down from her mother, it's so old and rare that no pictures could be found on any of the antique websites I searched. (Behind the glass door on the left is a built-in flour bin and sifter. The enameled top pulls out to make a larger work surface that was wonderful for kneading bread.)

This cupboard has a long history and an interesting story that dates back to the 1880s when it was owned by Marcella's grandmother, Eliza Newman. It's now showcased in Mollie's dining area, and her children already have dibs on it. Marcella's china is on the middle shelf (see larger image below).

This Fuehr and Stemmer piano (circa 1910-1915)was in the Schaumburg house for more than 40 years. It's now being played by Marcella's great-granddaughter Anthea, and it still sounds great. (Some of these old pianos were turned into player pianos that you can hear in many YouTube videos.)

This stand table probably dates back to the 1920s, but when Barbara refinished it in the eighties she destroyed its value as an antique. No matter; its real value to the family is that it stood by the front door of our home in Buckley, and it caught all sorts of things as we all went in and out.

AT LEFT, Bill's favorite rocker (circa 1940), now treasured by Barbara, who refinished it many years ago.

BELOW, detail of carving on the chair. The quilted pillow case and chair back pad were made by Marcella.

Door sign for Mollie's guest room, which features her collection of treasured keepsakes from two family lines.

The Schaumburg sisters slept in this 1930s brass bed in their growing-up years in Buckley. Its provenance and the amusing story of its use by other members of the family is told in the book.

To the right of the brass bed is the secretary desk and bookcase (circa 1910) whose shelves previously held Marcella's treasure of old family books. It now holds an eclectic collection of keepsakes from two family lines going back to the early 1900s. (See contents of three shelves below.)

Three shelves of the secretary desk pictured above.

Keepsake Dishes and Glassware

At top, Marcella's best (only) china with gold trim, used just for special family events or company. China tea cup and saucer (labeled "Florence" and probably made in Japan) is from a set of dishes used by Marcella's mother, Olivine, and its what my sister Mary and I used when we had soda crackers crumbled into tea for breakfast at her house. The glass teacup was something Barbara used as a child and treasures today.

This collection of wooden spatulas, kitchen utensils and green glass was used by Grandma Williams all her married life. Some of these items were surely passed down to her from her mother, Eliza Newman, and Mary now has these keepsakes, which will eventually be passed down to her children.

The teapot at right was used to hold Grandma's  collection of handwritten recipes, but she rarely needed a recipe to prepare delicious meals.

Grandma Williams loved green glassware, and Barbara treasures this tall green glass flower vase and the glass dish at right (with holes on top that she presumes are meant for flower stems).


Marcella said the green candy dish was a prize Bill won at a carnival in the 1930s.

Her Strawberry jam jar appears to be a Hazel Atlas jar, which was given as cereal promotions in the 1930s.

Iridescent Carnival glass from Marcella's cupboard, perhaps made by Fenton, which made carnival pieces between 1907 and into the 1930s. It has beautiful engraving around the edges that is practically impossible to photograph without glare.

This antique milk glass plate features Cupid pointing an arrow at a seated woman. It was handed down to Bill from his father, Jonas, or his mother, who died in 1920. It appears that at one time the whole front of the dish was covered with gold leaf. (Variations can be found on eBay.)

This unusual decorative bowl (pictured in one of the shelves of the secretary desk and bookcase above) holds most of the marbles the Schaumburg family used to play one of their favorite games: Chinese Checkers.

This American Bisque Yarn Doll Dutch Girl Cookie Jar (circa 1940s), which once had a home on top of Marcella's refrigerator, now keeps watch in Barbara's house. (She thinks it would make a wonderful "box" for her cremains some day, and sister Mollie says she'd be proud to showcase it on HER refrigerator then.)

Nostalgic Childhood Toys

Barbara and her sisters "played store" with this Junior Merchant cash register made in the 1950s by Kamkap Inc., NY. With rust and a drawer that won't open, it has only nostalgic value today.

At Right . . . the Walking Doll Mollie wanted so much for Christmas this year (early 50s). In one of the best snapshots Barbara ever took, she captured her sister's excitement as she tore open the box and threw the wrapping paper into the air. Mollie has treasured this doll ever since.

Below: Barbara's "Hollywood Doll," with its originally designed wardrobe hand-stitched by Barbara and her mother (mostly hidden beneath the doll's skirt). The antique wooden sewing box probably dates back to 1900. (See side view in the stand table photo above.)

Below: Mollie's new walking doll and her baby sister doll pose in the new pink satin gowns designed and sewn by Barbara.

These dishes from Barbara's collection of childhood playthings appear to be Akro Agate Jadeite Glass dishes made in the 1930s.

Saucers are Jade-green opaque milk glass; cups are blue glass. There are no markings on any of these items. (Many dish sets similar to these are available on eBay.)

Barbara lined the interior  with shimmery fabric and included a music box mechanism behind the doll. 

NOTE: More of the family's needlework and arts and crafts can be seen on that photo album page as soon as it's finished.

TO SEE PHOTOS in the remaining categories, including Bill's garage memorabilia, Yellowstone Park in 1959, family antiques, family pets, and arts/crafts/collectibles, return to:

Photo Album T/C Page

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Copyright © 2017 by Barbara Brabec. All Rights Reserved.