beer from Baccarat? Why not? The deep amber
color of a dark German beer with its rich head
of foam is certainly more inviting. And what
better way to enjoy, albeit on the tube, the
playoff games this January. Football on TV in
an antique shop? You bet, I remember watching
Y. A. Tittle play while in high school. Any
one that knows me or has visited MiRIAMGREEN
during the season, knows that while Gilbert&Sullivan
may be playing on the Bose stereo in the
main gallery, an old diminutive (10") black&white
RCA with very poor reception, is hooked up in
the book room, where I am usually glued to the
game. Any game. College or NFL, I love football,
love watching a good game. But just football.
And football is almost over. We have already
passed the best weekends-multiple games on Saturday
and Sunday; we have just three games left, not
counting the pro-bowl. I am already in withdrawal.
So this past weekend, when two teams I really
like played each other, my conflicted loyalties
notwithstanding, my eye fell upon these wafer
thin crystal goblets in a display case. I had
an uneven number set of wondrously delicate
Baccarat (in the Montaigne Optic pattern, never
used, still wrapped with yellow newspapers from
the 1930s when I unpacked them). Montaigne Optic
is a pattern still in production because of
its enormous appeal, though you can tell a stem,
even a Baccarat glass, that was blown yesterday
from one blown seventy-five years ago.
I had showed these glasses several times to
people, always marveling at their elegant fluidity,
their sound, their feel. Remembering when I
first unpacked the 26 pieces of assorted sizes
and washed them, o so carefully, that they were
literally alive in the sink. I decided to retire
a single water goblet -to enjoy my beer.
We have all been reminded by events of this
past September how precious life truly is, how
fragile we are, and that time never stops. Perhaps
it is this fragility that makes us appreciate
the antique, something made in previous centuries
that becomes a bridge from the past to the present.
And here in our present we should use them--with
some reservations*--all the time, rather
than on occasion.
If you collect something meant to be used, use
it. What a pleasure to share your passion and
treasures with your intimate and extended family.
Not just entertaining. While daily use of antiques
demands a heightened sense of presence, as in
PAY ATTENTION ALWAYS, it becomes second nature
to live with your collections. What better way
to teach children an appreciation of art and
history, and an etiquette of responsibility,
than to live with antiques. Those who collect
"antiques-of-the- table" can appreciate the
elegance of setting a table with vintage china,
glassware, sterling, etc. Isn't this appreciation
well worth the extra time and attention needed
in careful clean up? And if something breaks,
so what, you find another. Isn't the chase the
greater part of a true passion of collecting?
Delight of life takes many forms-family, sports,
travel, hobby, career. Delight is an antidote
to vexation, the opposite of a head-ache. Delight
is an active not a passive state, one that offers
'charge with electricity'. Delight is to be
captured, transported even. Beauty is what delights
the eye. We all need and profit from our delight.
The collector who delights in their collections
daily, by appreciation, and by use, has a special
appreciation of time, time of the object, that
is an inseparable personality of their antiques.
Time does not stop so make full use of all of
it. Eating and drinking from
your antiques is