Rumour has it that one night in my grandparents’ apple orchard, there were some thieves stealing gas from the tank my Grandpa kept for the tractors. My uncle–who was a salesman and not the first person I would choose as a defender (no disrespect intended to Uncle Bob)–went out to run them off. This umbrella is what he took as his weapon.
The gas incident was well before I was born. Eventually, this umbrella made its way to my grandparents’ cottage. Every so often, it would be pulled out on rainy days so that people could make their way back and forth between cottages. When my grandmother sold the cottage, the umbrella became mine.
The April issue of Country Living magazine featured vintage umbrellas, including one that looked a lot like mine. The shape is called pagoda, and according to CL, “Asian-inspired shapes generally indicate an older piece.” Given its illustrious family history, my umbrella is obviously somewhat old. The umbrella in the magazine was made in Montreal. That Canadian lineage makes me wonder if mine might be related.
I saw another umbrella very similar to mine at an antique show on the weekend. It was even rose ombre but reversed with the pink on the bottom and white on the top. The tag said it was from Montreal too. It was priced at $80. Country Living valued their umbrella at twice that–$160. I’m not sure that mine is worth that much, but maybe it’s about the price of a tank of gas–even at today’s prices.
Do you have any family hand-me-downs with interesting pasts? Have you ever spotted any of your heirlooms in a magazine?