The End of History. I would go in multiple times a week, chatting with the owner and admiring all the beautiful glass. The colors and shapes were so intriguing, so simple and elegant. Something of a past era – they just don’t make things like this anymore.
I would often have my dog, Amber with me and prior to entering would give her a quick little talk, advising her not to wag her tail and knock anything over. Some of these pieces were thousands of dollars, and a quick swing of the tail could have cost me. But even Amber understood how precious and irreplaceable these items were; upon entering her normally overactive tail showed just the slightest of hint of wag. She got it.
It was my place of inspiration, there were so many colors, so many shapes and it was there that I began to develop an appreciation for vintage glass and ceramics. I’d been doing vintage clothes and furniture, but this was a whole new world. Ashtrays, beautiful ceramic lamps, decanters….it was an abundance of color and shape and I loved every inch of the crowded colorful space. However, since I was a poor grad student, I couldn’t afford anything there. The thought of spending $500 on a glass vase, no matter how beautiful, was not one I could afford to entertain. Not to mention, where does one display beautiful glass in a studio apartment with low ceilings and an overactive labrador? Not ideal. So I left the glass where it belonged and visited it regularly – picking out my favorites and fantasizing about the day when I’d have both the money and the space to amass such a collection of my own.
When my Grandmother passed she left me some money. I could have used it for something mundane like paying off debt, or investing, but I decided that the end of history warranted a visit to The End of History. My grandmother was also a huge inspiration for me – she taught me about being gracious and kind, she showed me what real love meant, how to live with elegance and to be confident in the person I was. I spent 2 hours in there, going over each piece, deciding on a color palette that worked and that would be a reminder of my grandmother for me. I finally settled on 3 pieces; a lavender 1950’s Italian cased glass handblown triple decanter, a teal 1950’s Italian cased glass lidded jar and a 1960’s Swedish handblown glass vessel signed by Erik Höglund for BODA. While these items marked the end of history for me, they also represented a new phase in my life. You see, I didn’t really feel like an adult until my grandmother passed. That might sound weird, but something about having my grandmother pass showed me the passage of time. I saw how my mother took care of her mother and realized that one day, I would have to do the same. And it didn’t make me sad or morose, it made me grateful. Grateful for all the time I had with her and for all the time I have had and will continue to have with my mother. Grateful to these women who are a part of me and who have made me who I am today.
While I’ve since collected many more and my color palette has grown, those 3 original pieces are still the most precious to me. I think of my grandmother every time I look at my growing glass collection. And I realize that when one thing ends, something else invariably begins.