Capsule

Auction Of The Week: Early 1900s Hand Crocheted Lapel Bells

September 02, 2011 BY CAPSULESNEWS

WHAT: Early 1900s Hand Crocheted Lapel Bells

WHERE: eBay

HOW MUCH: Buy it now, $16.95

WHY: Labor Day. The foghorn sounding the end of summer, the day of rest and parties. Backyard grills from coast to coast are set ablaze, ready to cradle the dogs and patties that feed the American appetite. Families and friends come together for the seasons last hurrah. One hundred years ago in the village of Rye, New York, one Mrs. Blanche Coe, she of the quick and nimble fingers, crocheted this trio of patriotic bells to dangle from the lapel of Ralphs white jacket, for the occasion of the Labor Day picnic at the Apawamis Club, where both the Wainwrights and the Freemans would be joining them at the clubhouse before dinner back at the house, promptly at five oclock. Ralph was in no mood for festivities this holiday, nor did he particularly feel like spending more time with Richard Wainwright and his frivolous wife Eleanor, who had spent time as a dancer in the city but married up enough to have that sordid tidbit of personal history forgotten by most. Wainwright with his big ideas to start his own club, build tennis courts and recruit members to abandon the Apawamis and join his new venture to be called The Covleigh or something of the sort. Eleanor with her lascivious laugh, always too loud and always drinking and perhaps making eyes at the help or at him, as she had. Indeed, she was beautiful. Beautiful but damaged. Not like his Blanche, plain but noble, God-fearing and strong. Sweet and pure Blanche who kept the house in perfect order and read to the children each night, who kept him well fed and made him feel proud and good. On the straight and narrow. On the path to heaven. Before changing into a black jacket for dinner, Ralph hangs the white jacket away where it will remain until warm weather returns in a new year. The bells are carefully removed and placed alongside a few old coins and miscellaneous documents in his top dresser drawer. A breeze is felt through the bay window at the top of the stairs. Its autumn now.

-Minya Quirk

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