This past Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending a meeting and luncheon of the Vintage Ladies, a very knowledgeable group of women when it comes to antiquities and vintage wares--just like Antiques Road Show only I was there in person. The original Vintage Ladies Antiques interest group was formed about 30 years ago and today, this group has grown from one chapter in Northern Virginia to nine chapters with more than 400 members throughout Virginia and the United States. The chapter meeting I was invited to was at the lovely home of my friend, Linda, right here in Loudoun County and I brought along some lavender aperitifs to share. I think they were a hit with this group of antique aficionados.
The Vintage Ladies meet monthly in members' homes to study antiques. Experts on antiques are often invited speak at their meetings and often the members travel to museums and towns known for their antique shops. They also hold a joint meeting with all chapters biannually. Last Friday, I found out just how dedicated these women are when it comes to sharing a love of antiques and learning as much as they can about their found treasures. Not only that, I was also treated to a particularly lovely lunch in Linda's garden on a late summer afternoon.
After their normal business meeting, I was introduced by Linda as a guest and was invited to talk about my own garden business, here at Blooming Hill. Not exactly antique, however, they seemed genuinely interested to hear about my business before they carried on with talking antiques. The fun really got going when some of the ladies got up to show and tell about some of the items they had recently acquired and told a little bit about the origin of each item and why they were collectible. One woman brought historic, commemorative cups and canisters relating to the British Monarchy through the years while another brought flow blue china and Victorian perfume bottles made from cranberry glass.
One of the members, Janis, brought a nicely preserved Victorian lady's parasol. She talked about the difference between a parasol and an umbrella at that time. Parasols were a sign of a lady's wealth while working class women would carry regular umbrellas because they could not afford the fancier, frillier and more petite versions. Victorian men often bought their sweethearts parasols as displays for their affection.
The meeting ended with a wonderful array of culinary dishes brought by all of the members and guests. I brought a Lemon Loaf Lavandula dessert bread as well as lavender aperitifs for the ladies to sample. Of course, both items were made from Blooming Hill's lavender which I know made them especially tasteful, if I say so for myself.
Anyway, it was a wonderful afternoon spent with wonderful women who were genuinely interested in what I had to say as well. Thank you Vintage Ladies. I hope to see you all again soon.