You can’t swing a cat nowadays without accidentally throwing it into a vintage store. They are everywhere – every Tom, Dick and Harry is putting three vintage suitcases at the end of their bed, using a trunk as a coffee table and using an American flag (pre-standardisation, darling) as a headscarf. And they are probably paying a fortune for the privilege.
In my humble opinion, there is a place for vintage items, and a place for modernity. It’s easy to get carried away with the notion that something is ‘vintage’ and buy it for that reason alone. When I was younger, I bought some vintage dresses, only to realise, very quickly, that they didn’t actually fit properly, or flatter me – I had just been seduced by the notion that they were ‘vintage’.
Not any more. Now, I just buy what I like. I don’t put pressure in myself to be something I’m not, or wear clothes that make me look like I am dressed in my grandmother’s clothes. And then escaped from a mental hospital. Via a hedge. Which I belly flopped into. You get the picture.
But, saying that, I do have a soft spot for antiques and things with a past. I avoid clothes now, but accessories is an entirely different ball game. My favouritist bag in the world is a beaten up leather number that I bought from a vintage shop in Spitalfields a few months ago.
I love everything about this bag – the beautiful lining, the equestrian-style clasp, the leather – even the plaster that is holding one of the straps together. Despite its imperfections, to me, it is perfect. Because its mine – no one else has one like it, and even though the lining may at any point tear, or the plaster may fail and the strap will break, I use it constantly. No other bag comes close.
But the real point of this blog is a brilliant, Dachshund related find. One evening, I was browsing my new favourite website, Etsy, and I may have searched for Dachshund related items. Because there is always room in the shrine I call my house for one more sausage dog trinket. And boy, did it come up trumps.
Because I found this. It cost me the grand total of about seven English pounds and it was worth every penny.
It is a litter registration certificate for a litter of Dachshund puppies born in the year 1947. 1947! It is for a litter of three male puppies and one little girl, born to dogs called Ch. Black Forest Regin v Holzgarten and Ringer of Black Forest. And the owner was called Erroll L. Johnson, who lived in Washington. I don’t care what Dan says – our first born child will be called Erroll.
It also came with the original envelope and a couple of notices about advertising the puppies and the like.
I stared at my treasure for the best part of an hour when it arrived in the post. I love it – it cost next to nothing, and only a select handful of people would really ‘get it’ but I’m one of them. I totally get it, and I’m so glad it’s mine. Every time I pick it up, I wonder where the puppies ended up, and picture them walking in front of the White House, with a man wearing a suit and a fancy hat. And a pocket watch. And a pipe. And maybe a monocle.
I thought I would share my treasure with you, because I hope you will all get it too.
Who knows – maybe one day, when we are all long gone, someone will find Mort’s pedigree on a website. They will buy it and treasure it, and wonder what kind of life the little dog lived, and whether or not he was happy.
Just in case someone ever does, and just in case that person ever reads this blog: he was very happy. We all were.