Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Grandmothers Wax Fruit.



   When I was a kid, I always looked forward to going to my Grandmothers house. Grandma Dolly was a loud,out spoken,strong and loving woman. She had 9 children and a husband that died young. She worked many jobs to make ends meet, but she managed to raise all those children all on her own. She was a plain women, wore cotton house dresses, long braids in her hair, wrapped close to her head with pins.She never wore make up or jewelry. Yet, she had a love for beautiful things . She had flowers all over her garden. Climbing roses and beds full of iris and wild daisy. There wasn't tons of money, so most of these flowers were gifts from her kids or starts from a friend. I remember one spring when someone of us grand kids picked some of roses. She went into a rage. We all had to line up and stand until someone confused. I don't know if anyone ever did, but I remember how mad she was. She bought antiques and trinkets at yard sales. One thing that always caught my eye, was a cut glass bowl of wax fruit on the kitchen table. Her house had no dining room, just a huge kitchen with a round old dining table on one end. She valued that bunch of fruit as much as one would have valued a sterling silver epergene. When she died there was an auction of her things, I wanted that bowl of fruit, I was not real old, my mother tried to buy it, but one of my fathers sisters out bid her. I guess that was OK as I can now visit it at her house.Isn't it funny what we remember from our youth?
   Well needless to say ,I have had a love for wax fruit every since. I find it at yard sales, house sales and antique shops. When I first started buying it, it was hardly worth a few pennies. You could often buy a bag full for $1.00. Today it has re-gained popularity and is much more pricey. I have a huge baskets full in my shop for sale and I am asking $3.00 each piece. Just email me with you want me to send you some.

When I am not using my silver epergene, for parties with fresh flowers, I keep it full of wax fruit.


This is a large oval shadow box frame full of wax fruit in and elaborate bowl.

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It even has a pickle.



   I have a few glass parlor domes that are also full of wax fruit. And one of my favorite pieces is a oval gilt frame full of the stuff. I bought it many years ago in and antique shop in Kansas City, Mo. The fruit is all arranged as if it is coming from a very fancy basket.It even has a pickle. I paid a lot for the time, but was one of those things I didn't think, I could live without. One set of three glass domes have an interesting story as well. I bought the large center one at an auction. It was cold and raining. I bought a rug, just to wrap up in. But I stayed and stuck it out as I wanted that old glass dome full of wax fruit. Well I got it and I have loved it ever since. Years latter, I was at an antique shop and spotted the two side domes full of fruit. There was a lady looking at them and fighting with the shop owner for a much better price. My heart was beating fast as I wanted them so bad. I waited till that lady walked away and I went in for the kill. I whispered to the shop owner,"how much," and when she said the price, I said, I'll take them. The other lady was so mad. But sometimes you just have to.
   I don't know what it is that draws us to certain items. This time it could be my childhood memories of my Grandmother. What ever the reason, collections are fun.
   Wax fruit  dates back as far as the Pharaohs of Egypt. Wax fruit was made and placed in the tombs when the Pharaohs died. It remained popular until the 1900's, when plastic fruit soon took it's place.
  The original wax fruit was sometimes made by dipping real fruit into silicone  to create a mold. Paraffin was poured into the molds. When it had hardened, it was trimmed, polished and air brush painted. Later clay molds were made by artist. Paraffin wax is mostly found as a white, odorless, waxy solid, with a high melting point. Paraffin has been used for years by ladies who can fruit and make jellies. It was melted and poured onto the top of the jams to seal them. It was also used in home candle making. It could readily be bought at any grocery store.Ladies often became very good artist. They made paper flowers and dipped them in the  wax.Wire and wicker baskets were also dipped into this melted wax and used as flower and fruit containers. Country ladies, who lived  far away from towns, were often very clever. Today these creations are highly sought after by collectors, like me.
   I hope you enjoy my wax fruit collection. I also wish you could come by some day for a real tour and see it in person. I will always leave the lights on, and yes, Sissy Dog will be there to meet you with a jump and and kiss. Keep collecting.
 

The center dome I found at a country auction. Years latter I found the two side dome as an antique shop. These date back to around 1870's.


This large glass parlor dome has wax fruit, flowers and a wax basket to hold them.



I have over 100 pieces for sale in my shop, Richard's Great Stuff. Email me if you are interested. www.cottrellprissy@aol.com. $3.00 ea.

41 comments:

Stacy Leigh said...

You are so amazing Richard!! I loved reading about your Grandmother :) Very nice!!!! I think my Great Grandma had the same fruit in a bowl on her table. Brings back memories :)

Marcia said...

I grew up with a bunch of waxed fruit on a cake plate on our dining room buffet. I think Mother still has it somewhere. I was not overly impressed with it as a kid; we just took things for granted. You made me see it in a new light. I love the oval wall display; those oldsters sure had great vision!

Curtains in My Tree said...

Another thing my Mother always had I know we sold it all at her auction after she passed away. I can remember trying to throw it away every time I came home for a visit. Mom was never one to store away items they were all on display dust & all
she kept hers in a large glass bowl on the dinning room table

does bring back memories

Pamela Gordon said...

You have a beautiful collection Richard. I've never seen waxed fruit I guess but it sure looks pretty in a bowl or vase. I could almost eat some!

Barbara F. said...

I remember wax fruit growing up, we had a bowlful on the sideboard. xo

Olive Cooper said...

Richard, you have the most wonderful collections and this wax fruit is lovely. I especially like the wax fruit in the shadow box. I think childhood memories spark collections for me too. Olive

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Another fabulous post, Richard! Loved the story and I loved seeing your collection of wax fruit.

An Historical Lady said...

Just beautiful Richard! I bought a lot of that wax fruit at garage sales over 20 years ago, and paid something like 25 or 5 cents for a bag full. I used it for della robia garlands for Christmas, and lots of other things for years! A few years ago I sprayed each piece with Sprayment, and rolled them in sugar, I now use my very real looking 'sugared fruit' every year in my Williamsburg inspired Christmas decor!

Awww....You are the best Richard---Thanks so much for the wonderful comment you left on my latest post today!
Hugs to you and Sissy,
Mary

http://anhistoricallady.blogspot.com

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Enjoyed reading the story about your Grandmother. Seems like just about every household had a display of wax fruit when I was growing up also. I sold a huge bag of faux fruit, veggies and bread at a yardsale few years ago, but pretty sure there was not any wax pieces in there.

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

What fun! My mom had wax fruit...I had forgotten about it! Hope you are having a great week!...hugs...Debbie

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Thanks for sharing the story of your Grandmother, how sad everyone could not of had one thing of hers that they treasured. Brought back memories of my moms on the dining room table in a wood pedestal!

BeautifulDees said...

Thank you my kind friend...I love fruit and it is all over my house,but not any plastic one's(dang I wish I would have collected some). I love your post's.
Love ya,Debbie:)

mississippi artist said...

Your fruit domes are beautiful,especially the one on the oval frame. I have never seen anything like these-maybe the one's around here all melted in the Mississippi summers!LOL! Hugs to you and Sissy. Hope your cold is gone!

Sweet Old Vintage said...

Loved hearing the story about your grandmother.... Our evening here has turned rainy and chilly with a big change coming this weekend... I guess we musst go through the white stuff before we can get to spring... It is starting to hit me the next few months could seems very long...

jeanetteann said...

Richard they are all amazingly beautiful,almost look like the real thing and good enough to eat. I always enjoy reading your such interesting posts.
:) jeanetteann

Pat said...

My Grandmother had waxed fruit in a cut glass bowl on the dining room table. I remember I knew it wasn't real, but just had to try it. My teeth marks are still in the plum!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Richard, The shadow box and domes are amazing! I have never seen wax fruit framed...beautiful.
xo,
Sherry

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

What a great story Richard. Amazing how the past can fuel our passions. This post really brings back memories. You have an cool collection. Thanks for sharing it with us.

AB HOME Interiors said...

Funny my g-ma had fruit too and I always made fun of her. Now that I am older I miss all those little things she had throughout her home.

xinex said...

I love the wax fruits but what really caught my eye is the stunning epergne....Christine

xinex said...

I love the wax fruits but what really caught my eye is the stunning epergne....Christine

Love Of Quilts said...

That was my grandmothers way of wering her hair in long braids that wrapped close to her head with pins. I too had a lot of fruit...I have gotten rid of a lot of it over the years.

Bohemian said...

Richard thank you for stopping by for a visit with encouraging words. We're guardedly optimistic that my SIL & Mom both receive a Healing touch.

Smiling about Wax Fruit, my Parents always had some in a tiered Asian Carved Lazy Susan and I remember one of my Cousins thinking they were real {she was only 2 at the time} and taking a bite of several... her teeth marks were a sweet reminder of her time spent with us and it always made me Smile.

Dawn... The Bohemian

cityfarmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

Wax fruit...now that is a memory. My Mom never liked it but I remember some of my Aunts having it...great post!!!

Lizabeth @ Infuse With Liz said...

Love your story about the fruit and your Grandmother. Isn't that a shame though that a person has to attend an auction of their own family member? That happened in my husband's family. 12 brothers and sisters and the oldest took everything he wanted and put the rest up for auction. Crazy!
Those very old glass domes are amazing. My Mom had the waxed fruit in a white milk glass footed bowl for a long time! We used to pull off her fake grapes and suck on them till they stuck to our tongues! LOL... did I just admit to that!!

outjunking said...

I remember that fruit also from my grandmothers table. However I always got in trouble for digging my finger nails into it. I couldn't help myself. I hadn't thought of that in years.
Thanks and have a great weekend,
Lisa

Brigitte said...

Richard,
Love old stories,I can just visualize your grandmother.
Your collection of the wax fruit is amazing,they look so real.
I always love your posts and this one is not exeption,always look forward to the next one.
Thank You for sharing !

Brigitte said...

Richard,
Love old stories,I can just visualize your grandmother.
Your collection of the wax fruit is amazing,they look so real.
I always love your posts and this one is not exeption,always look forward to the next one.
Thank You for sharing !

Elizabeth Maxson said...

My mother had wax fruit on the table and I used to play with it in my room in my play kitchen. She would get mad because "it wasn't a toy" as she would say. I remember shooting your parlor domes and being fascinated by your wax fruit.

I liked the story of how we remember funny little things from our childhood...it is funny what we remember, isn't it?

Big hug to you and Sissy
Love
Eiizabeth

The Tablescaper said...

Love your story of about your grandmother's wax fruit.

Hope you'll be joining us at Seasonal Sundays.

- The Tablescaper

Susan said...

Oh, Richard, that was wonderful news that you are going to have your lovely home featured in the magazine again! Wow! You must be over the top.

Just caught up on reading your past blog posts and oh! Stop my rapidly beating heart----your dolhouse is EXQUISITE. I LOVED the raspberry with the hunter green----so HANDSOME! Great job.

Take care. Susan p.s. Hope, by now, you are feeling well again.

Ivy and Elephants said...

Hi Richard,
Loved reading about your wax fruit. Those domes and the framed picture are just gorgeous. I collect the stone fruit, but I just might have to expand my collection! LOL
Happy collecting
Patti

victorian parlor II said...

I remember the old wax fruit from my childhood! Now we have exact replicas from Walmart that look so much like the real thing I have to tell people it's fake before they bite into it! Thanks or the trip down memory lane. What lovely memories you shared from your grandmother's home. I hope you are feeling better:)!

Blessings,

Kim

Holt House said...

I remember wax fruit, also have some for sale in my shop. I have some of my grandmother's also. It's funny how we like things from our childhood. Happy New Year, Richard

Donna said...

My grandmother used to have a bowl of waxed fruit on her dining room table which looked very realistic. When guests came over, they often tried to eat the fruit but were surprised that it wasn’t real. This became a family joke and when someone reached for that fruit we could hardly contain our laughter. Now, it's in my kitchen sitting in a wrought iron bowl waiting for an unsuspecting person who wants a snack. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who has fond memories of waxed fruit!

lvroftiques said...

I am in wax fruit heaven Richard!! Oh my goodness your domes are gorgeous! And I loved hearing about your memories of your Grandmothers house. I bet that woman who lost out on those domes is gnashing her teeth to this day, but I would've done exactly the same as you. *winks* Vanna

Beverly said...

Richard, this post brought back a lot of memories. My grandmother and my mother each had wax fruit. I wonder what happened to it.

Thank you for sharing. I always learn from your posts.

Im Spiegel said...

The wax fruits are really beautiful. Those are really rare here in Germany. Sad that your shop is so far away :-(

Francesca said...

Wow, great pictures! I love the eagles, real royalty! My daughter and I love animals, in fact we have a little chihuahua. I am following you from Rome, Italy!

Kirsten Diehl said...

Hi! I am trying to sell an antique set of wax fruit that I have in a dome on ebay but I'm trying to figure out a selling price . . . I was hoping that you could help me out. Do you have an email I could send you some photos to?