I love sharing the stories behind some of the “old” things in our home and how we mix them with “new” to make a fresh and current, yet still a storied space.
There are quite a few treasured pieces that are true heirlooms in my family, ones that were passed down to me through my family instead of me sourcing them from antique stores or vintage markets. This Mantle Clock is one of those pieces.
This piece came from my namesake, my Great Aunt Ashley whom I never met but my association have heard many stories. I guess she must have been a pretty special lady if I was named after her. Well, she is to me for any sake.
As the story goes there were many, many mantle clocks in their beautiful Southern plantation home back in the day. As with most plantation homes, the Virginia estate featured several fireplaces and this beauty was lucky enough to sit atop one of the mantles for many, many years.
It’s a heavy piece with a beautiful, worn black patina that reminds me of a cast iron pan that has been well-used in the kitchen. The simple yet special guided design details also have a beautiful look today, a luster that you can’t quite get when producing new pieces.
The parts + pieces are all here but it’s time to find a good clock maker to take a look at it and see if they can get it back up and running for me, as I’m just dying to hear the hourly chime it produces. I can only imagine what it must have sounded like on the hour in Ashley’s house, with each clock delivering it’s own unique sound and echoing through the halls all at once.
Today, this piece sits in our living room in our built-in book case as it is actually too deep to sit on either of our fireplace mantles (at least comfortably … it’s heavy and I’d hate for it to fall!). When it catches my eye it always makes me smile and gives me great appreciation for my commonplace name that is actually a family one.
Growing up I always joked that there was at least 2 other Ashley’s in my class at any given time. “Ashley L.” was what I became known as to many of my friends + teachers but in looking back I love the “Gone with the Wind” connotation which is the same feeling I get when thinking about Aunt Ashley and her storied home as well. I’d love to visit it one day during my travels to see the original family home and try to imagine which of the fireplaces this little treasure adorned.
I’d love to see you share your own #HEIRLOOMED treasures and stories with us!
heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of “keeping heirlooms around for another generation.” Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of “goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy” with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen aprons, tabletop linens, art, ceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com.