[LMB] Wealthy peoples' personal property and the personality of things

Pouncer pouncer at aol.com
Sat Oct 9 22:35:10 BST 2021


Marc Wilson:

 >A Tory grandee once said disparagingly of a fellow politician: "Damn
 >fellow buys his own furniture". Because old-money people inherit 
 >furniture, possibly several centuries old and worth more than many 
 >houses.

Sybil Ramkin-Vimes, for instance.  Cue the lecture on Vimes's boots.

 >And on the whole, they're not fixated on everything matching,
 >either.

Having all one's silverware display the same monogram betrays a
recent purchase, a very small guest list, or a marriage to a
person who brought no silver of his/her own into the family.

Vorkosigan's Attic is no doubt full of stuff like the good
quality boots Vimes envisions -- not unlike the saddle Miles
actually shows Ekaterin.  Piotr may have riding gear, including
boots, that still have good wear in them, but of no immediate
use. We know of furniture, such as Kou's Couch. The large
limo-like family ground-car features in the timeline ranging from
_Barrayar_ to at least _ _A Civil Campaign_ ... and though
I don't remember exactly it wouldn't surprise me to be
reminded of a later appearance.

Very good quality stuff of very long personal use tends to
pick up an a -- I dunno what to call it, exactly "imprint",
maybe? -- of the person using/wearing/carrying it.  Vimes's
boots take the shape of his feet. My grandfather's Stickley
rocking chair bears the scars, and so reveals his habit,
of falling asleep in it while not-quite-finishing a cigarette.
The blade of a knife shows the skill of the person
sharpening it. Bothari's for good instance; the scratched
up surface behind the edge is a bad example for mine. Any
favorite and often consulted book will have tears in the jacket
or wear on the binding -- a beloved COOKBOOK may have stains
on the pages of the recipes best-enjoyed by both the cook and
the diners. A masskrug from Octoberfest '89, the year the Iron
Curtain tore, still holds beer (or what passes for beer in
America)  even with a chip in the rim. It doesn't seem much
of a stretch to me to imagine the spirits of a comrade or
grandparent warming my own when I sit in THAT chair or sip from
THAT mug or  consult THAT page before stirring up a  batch
of cookies. Not that anyone's ghost is bound to that burn or
that stain or chip.  But there, for me at least, all the same.


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