Mirror, Mirror on the table, who was capable ...

by Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue October. 03, 2019 1279 views

In Summer Victoria was moving into a new apartment. It was a lot of work for the whole family to pack and transport and unpack. Everything went well until I jinxed it. I talked during a break about old inherited furniture and how much I love them. Right afterwards the accident happened. Roland broke the small mirror of his great-grandmother. I was so angry – angry enough for seven years. Meanwhile the broken mirror is replaced and I calmed down. When I got the call from the glazier to pick it up, I was really happy - until I got a really shocking information. Shocking, because it's a really unpleasant reminder of dark times and nobody seems to know something about it.

What I know about this family heirloom:

The mirror belonged to Barbara Bick, Roland’s Great grandmother. Her name is written on the backside of the drawer. Maybe it was part of her dowry. She was mother of at least five daughters: Barbara, Victoria, Stephanie, Margarete and Josefine. One after the other died shortly after WWI, when they were still young women. Roland’s grandmother died in her late twenties shortly followed by her husband. Their daughter Margarete, Roland’s mother, was at this time still a child. She was raised by her grandparents. Both of them died in the 1930s. The mirror belonged now to her aunt Barbara. When she died in the 1960s the mirror went to Roland’s mother. Sometime later or after her death in 1980 the mirror came into the possession of her daughter. Her name is Margarete too. Some 6 years or so ago aunt Grete gave the mirror as a present to Victoria. During all this time is was a beloved fine piece of craftsmanship. A typical early 19th century furniture. But some years before or during WWII some soil brown soul scratched a swastika in the frame! We didn't see it before the mirror broke. The glazier, who replaced the mirror, saw it and showed me. My first reaction: ”Damn, who did it?" I still can't point a finger on someone, but it must have been someone who was intrigued by the Nazis and their symbols. Sadly there is nothing, what we can do to remove it. The scratches are deep. Even beautiful heirlooms don't tell always the history you want to hear.

I played around with two cameras (Nikon D 650, Panasonic TZ 91) to get a good picture from the mirror and of course from this incriminating proof of participation. Mirrors are awful objects. Either there is an unnecessary reflection or everything is out of focus. I improvised (perfection is a myth) to get a crumpled background. I used two old (1930s) linen trousers from a traditional west Hungarian costume. I liked the rough structure and the yellowish white color of this historic fabric.

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There are 7 comments , add yours!
Antonio Gil 1 year, 11 months ago

History is always pursuing us either we like it or not. Love the pictures. I'm not sure if that is a swastika

1 year, 11 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year, 11 months ago

I always like to find out things - even they are not so fancy or nice. I have almost no problems with embarrassing informations, but I will become really hectic if I can't solve a riddle. I asked my sister-in-law, who gave the mirror to Victoria. She confirmed the swastika and developed some idea about the culprit. I will squeez her for more information as soon as possible. grin

1 year, 11 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 1 year, 11 months ago

Nice history. The damage can be repaired by specialist restores. But it will not be cheap.

1 year, 11 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Berckmans Peter 1 year, 11 months ago

You are right - I was thinking about it, because today is Victoria's birthday.euro

1 year, 11 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 1 year, 11 months ago

Give the birthdaygirl 3 kisses from Belgium

1 year, 11 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 1 year, 11 months ago

What a piece! What a story! You did a very nice job of capturing this beautiful piece of furniture, if only it could talk and tell its story. smile

1 year, 11 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 11 months ago

It would be funny if it was the "same" glazier, who replaced the mirror some time ago. The Pelikan family is around since 1799 - sometimes it feels like being surrounded not only by very old furniture ... 🙄

1 year, 11 months ago Edited
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