Sounds and scents are intrinsically tied to memory and recall of past events. Touch can take you to another time and place. Sight can also do this as is the case with inanimate objects. When I was a child, we had a Biedermeier cabinet, original in the glass and varnish, however the bottom was reconstructed at a later date. Nevertheless, it was quite stunning and singular despite not being in its virgin state.
One of the advantages of having an antique piece of furniture is the lives it has lived before, and the lives it continues to tell. Some stories are forgotten in time and can’t be recovered, but if you look and examine closely there are many clues to prior ownership. Such was the case with this fanciful Biedermeier. The top half was empty and devoid of contents. However, once the bottom doors were opened, there was a treasure chest within. Piles upon piles of original film scripts had been housed here. ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ comes to mind, the infamous Milos Forman picture where Jack Nicholson’s character is transferred from a prison farm to a mental institution. The tale recounts the drama that ensues. Another memorable example was the Spaghetti Western of Sergio Leone fame, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Perhaps the most storied film of its kind.
This, of course, leads one to wonder who was the previous owner? Was he a Hollywood director, film producer, and actor? Was it someone well known? The curiousity one can gather from this scenario is endless and fascinating. Of course, with auctions, there is a public record where one can gather evidence of previous origin and yet with this purchase at a private sale, the information was intentionally kept hidden. One can follow the clues and ask questions, or perhaps one can never know…. and that may be the wonderment of it all.
Unfortunately, the original glass was broken due to my haphazard ballet movements as a prepubescent teen. It was later restored, thankfully.
And so then, with this the evolution of history continues.
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”
Attribution to Britannica, Deviant Art