Welcome to our new series about gifts given across generations. Hand me downs often have a connotation of being cast-offs, no longer wanted items. Not anymore, we’re interviewing owners over those preowned, preloved items they’ve inherited to find out what they do with them. First off, is longtime Krrb member Judi Stroh sharing the history behind a repurposed kerosene lamp. (And check out the hand me downs for sale in her Krrb corner!
Hi Judi! Can you tell us about the item.
It’s a Victorian banquet lamp, reconstructed by my great grandfather from an old kerosene lamp. His house had been an old grocery store that had a window in the front where he would display his reconstructed antique lamps and dressers, etc. Vacationers to Southampton would see them from the Main Street and buy them.
What a businessman. Who gave you this item and why?
My Grandma, his daughter. I also have a desk from her and one of those octagon side tables I use as a liquor cabinet. She would be so proud!
How old were you when you received this item?
I was 16 years old. My first antique hand-me-down in a long line. Also probably the most breakable so KNOCK ON WOOD. It has been in seven different apartments, including one dorm room.
Do you remember how you felt about getting this item then?
I didn’t realize what a neat piece it was, or that it would start my lifelong obsession with brass antiques (if not DIY-made goods). But I did always have it proudly displayed on my desk in college. Of course with an office max desk it stood out. My tastes have certainly leaned more towards it’s style since then.
Where is this item now? Do you use it or is it on display?
I’ve had to move it away from any windows so when my dog tries to escape during storms she won’t knock it over. It’s currently my bedside lamp. I should change the light bulb to something softer, and to utilize the triple switch.
Do you plan to pass this item to someone else?
Of course! Can’t think of what I’ve received that I wouldn’t pass down. Perhaps the best reason to have an offspring, eh?