[picture of inventory]
Chairs screech across the concrete floor. Dolly wheels squeak as a hutch finds a new temporary home in the warehouse. Rugs whop to the floor, one huge corner at a time. No one cares about the dust because for at least this moment in history, all the items are sharing one large home under the roof of Liberty & 33rd.
Finding furniture of different eras is such fun. We learn a lot as we make hundreds of furniture purchases each month (i.e. Adam teaches me all sorts of new things about construction and carving, etc.), but I, the romantic, continually come back to one question, “What stories could this piece tell?”
I’m a bit of a dreamer.
I would love to see our pieces from the day of their creation to the time they end up in our hands. I like to think they’re happy in our care. That they find temporary peace in the warehouse and trust they’ll find happy homes one day soon. I have a bit of an anthropomorphizing problem. Maybe I have foster care on the mind. Maybe. But mostly I probably have an untreatable problem.
[picture of hunter’s cabinet]
Here’s the Liberty & 33rd piece that to date has intrigued me most. It has a home now, but it’s worth featuring here. I might just be trying to get you in my head a bit so we can take a journey together, guessing at the life of a piece. It was built in the late 1800’s. That’s old. And it came from England. Hello! This thing has traveled the world to end up in South Bend, IN. Cool factor x10. It’s the same curiosity I feel when I meet someone local who is originally from the Philippines or Zambia. How in the world did you end up in northern Indiana?
Was it specially ordered, built and shipped for an American? Did an English woman make travel plans for the US and adamantly demand this piece come with her to America? Did her children love it so much that it traveled with them from Maryland to Utah and then to Illinois? Did the great-great grandchild write it in his will to his heir?
What was kept in it? Was it actually used as a gun cabinet or mass storage for seamstress work? Has a puppy ever been trained to not chew on it or a child hidden in it during a riveting game of hide and seek?
Whatever the story, I’m sure it’s good. Wherever it’s traveled, we’re glad it came through us and into an historical home in downtown South Bend.
Liberty & 33rd is a treasure chest of antiques.