I see a lot of things that pass through the doors of the small thrift store where I work. A few of these captivate me more than I can really explain.
It was Saturday morning when this little gem crossed my path. Tired and in dire need of a hot cup of coffee; I journeyed to the back room where all of our merchandise is held. In the doorway, a gray Hidden Treasures cart sat waiting for me. As I looked down, the sepia colored roses glanced up at me with mystery. I reached in and picked up the packet of papers holding pricing information.
Was written in my boss' choppy handwriting. I ran a hand through my hair as I read over the information. "Johann Haviland Bavarian Rose Sepia" read the ebay information. The prices danced before me on the page - fourteen dollars for one piece, twenty for another.
I took the cart out onto the floor and headed toward an open shelf on the end of an aisle. I put a golden silk scarf on the shelf's surface and started to delicately put the China on display. As I did, I let my mind wander.
Being an avid enthusiast for life in the 1940s (thanks to all the Radio Shows I listen to) I could only imagine what the set had seen. The end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. Who's table had these amazing dishes sat on? A Bavarian noble? How did it come to be in America after leaving Europe's tumultuous shores - so racked by war and fear. Did it belong to an immigrant who came here for a new life away from the terrors of the War? Or even a former Nazi?
I smiled as I felt the cool china beneath my fingers, tracing the roses. I wondered where it had come from. What kind of china cabinet had it sat in, displayed proudly as a family heirloom. What were the people like? Hardened and war-weary. I imagined then a family gathering, maybe a holiday. An occasion for china as fine as this. A family sitting down for dinner with The Adventures of Sam Spade or Suspense! playing from the radio in a living room. The imaginations captured by the stories. As my imagination was captured by a simple set of fine China.
It sold not long after I had put it out and I felt my heart sink slightly. I was hoping to enjoy it a little bit longer. Carefully, I wrapped the pieces in newspaper and put them gently in a large box. Wishing I had been the one to own it.