Collections Under Glass

When I was a tween my fashionista grandmother shared a book with me she loved called Minding the Store about the early years of Neiman Marcus. The book was filled with stories about the famous customer service to the rich and famous customers of the flagship store in Dallas. My grandmother loved the antidotes about the man who bought his wife everything in the Store’s Christmas window and had them recreate the window display at his house to surprise his wife on Christmas morning.

One story stood out to me. A husband bought his wife one of every color of cashmere sweater they had in the store. The brilliant merchandiser told the man he would wrap it in a famous way. So they got a giant brandy snifter and layered the sweaters in a rainbow inside the glass, with a white fluffy angora sweater on the top and a big ruby ring in the middle as the cherry on the sundae. My grandmother drooled over the thought of all those sweaters. I, on the other hand, was drawn to the idea of the display of the collection of sweaters

That love of grouping like items in glass has been one that I have carried with me ever since reading that book. I also am a collector. I love to have groups of things and enjoy the hunt for things I collect.

In the past few years I decided I have probably collected enough of “things.” Although I still collect fabrics to keep in my stash of quilting materials and fibers and canvas for needlepoint. I can justify those collections as craft materials for on-going work. For the most part I stopped collecting decorative items as I have an over abundance.

Recently I channeled my inner Bernie Marcus and have put some of my collections in glass jars. I have hundreds of British Enamel boxes that are good at collecting dust. Putting them all together in an apothecary jar keeps them dust free and is a space saving display. Same with silver baby cups and old Mah Jongg tiles from sets with no jokers so they are just pretty, but not good for playing with. Unfortunately I don’t have a large collection of ruby rings to display in a jar. I hate that I have even thought of it now and will have to fight my urge to search eBay.

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