Do you purchase damaged Blue Willow?

Late 1800’s Blue Willow English Compote/Dish

I am like most people in that I don’t really like to purchase from outside of the US. Mostly because I always fear my piece getting broken in transit. I try my best to steer clear of out of country purchases, but it hinders my ability to purchase beautiful English pieces like this compote.

“FAIR WARNING” this may end up turning into a sappy blog post because of the horrendous week I have had. The highlight of my week was going to be opening up this package that was delivered while I was in Charleston working. I am sure there are other fellow collectors that watch the tracking on their new items to ensure they are around when it is delivered and to make sure no one steals it off of their front porch after it has arrived. Sad world we live in these days.

When I got home this evening, I had a list of things to get done, let out the dogs in the house (the coon dog and yorkie) and let the big coon dog out from his kennel, unpack my car, bring my computer in….find something for dinner and well try to relax (that is always at the bottom of my list!) As I fed the dogs, I noticed my package at the end of the table. I had almost forgotten as I checked things off my list.

I always do a minor shake test…no sounds….good sign. You know, I have to prepare myself for bad news. This piece wasn’t that costly and has a chip, so I already knew it was damaged, but what character it had and I simply loved it when I saw it online a few weeks ago.

Do you have a hard and fast “no purchase” for items that has slight damage? I can say when I first started collecting it was all about how much I could get a piece for versus the “collectable” value of the item and if the item was damaged, it was an immediate pass for me. But my collecting has truly evolved. I have fallen deeply in love with antique English pieces and the thought of their history makes me willing to purchase that “broken” piece.

Here is for the sappy part: On Monday’s I run a recovery meeting with my husband and this was no different than any other….One struggle after another. We meet every Monday at the same time but this week we had a testimony. A gentlemen shared about his addiction to cocaine, prison time, loss of a child and his father’s murder. Sheer brokenness. The testimony couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

Sometimes, I too feel deeply broken, ineffective, not enough….like damaged goods. When I got home tonight after my shake test, I breathed a sigh of relief, I don’t hear anything…we should be good to go. As I opened the bubble wrap, I heard clanging……it was broken into 3 pieces. My past few weeks dealing with loved ones who struggle with addiction has left me raw, and emotional. At first when I saw the pieces, I wanted to well up with tears. It is over, another piece lost………You know, we are only as lost as we allow ourselves to be.

And I heard this still small voice say, it is still a beautiful piece, just put it back together. You know for the longest time, I really thought God didn’t speak to me because I am looking to hear a deep man’s voice….seriously, I am not crazy here. That still small voice said to me, Christy, some many things in life are broken, but they can be made new. Just because it is damaged doesn’t mean it doesn’t serve a purpose….ok God, where is the darn superglue…..

Yes, I glued this piece back together tonight, whipped out some acrylic paint, turned off the TV and focused on putting it back into one piece. Here is the thing, this piece isn’t much different than our lives. Sometimes, we feel broken, other times we have it all together, but deep down, repairs still need done to make us new.

I am in the middle of 2 separate step studies, which is largely why I am so emotional. Tonight, I wanted to encourage you to not judge a piece by the worth of what you see on the outside of it, but think about all that piece has been through. Sometimes damage gives a piece character, like older pieces with staples in them. They are one of my favorites. I still have no idea how staples were used to put china back together!

I don’t know how you feel about this piece, but I want to give it another chance at displaying beauty! And lastly, I don’t have any idea who made this piece, it is unmarked..but I love it just the same.


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