There is nothing like unique antiques! People often ask me what is the weirdest or most unique item I’ve ever ran across.
In some ways I hate that question because there are so many favorites and it is hard to pick just one. However, I also love it because it always leads to a fun conversation.
I would be insane not to mention my samarai sword taken from a Japanese officer at Iwo Jima by Colonel Rawlinson. How could I miss an opportunity to chat about my 1905 catchers mask or my 1950′s Auburn University Freshman rat cap. Last year I picked a sterling silver cigarette box given to General Robert Knapp inscribed to him by the first man to fly over the Andes Mountains in a hot air balloon in the 1930′s. Those are some of my favorite finds, but what about the weirdest?
Last year I was poking around in a little junk shop and ran across a pair of items I had never seen before. It was obvious from the first time I saw them that they were peg legs used by an amputee. As I looked closer, I noticed that they both had fabric that was a military green. As I flipped one upside down, I noticed that someone had cut out a piece of a tire and made a pad for the bottom of it. Hmmm… not just any peg leg, I thought. What made them so much more special to me was that they were military peg legs.
I love military items. Little left-overs from a soldier’s service in our armed forces are monuments to me. I sit and daydream about what each item must have seen during the course of its life. I wish they could talk and tell us the stories of our forefathers. There’s nothing like sitting around a living room listening to old stories of how our freedom has been won and protected!
Peg legs have been around for hundreds of years. As children we imagined ourselves sailing the raging seas commanding a ship of pirates with half of one leg supported by a hand-carved wooden peg. Famous men of valor have worn peg legs such as the great American jazz artist, Peg Leg Sam (Arthur Jackson). But the greatest heroes who donned the peg leg was our soldiers who have been injured in service to our country.
Best I can figure, the antique carved peg legs I found in that little junk shop are right around the turn of the century. My guess would be that they served our country well in World War I or soon afterwards.
You can check them out in our antique/vintage store at New Leaf. And if you want to chat a bit, just track me down and ask about some of the other unique items I’ve run across the past few years!
This post goes out to all of you who have served in our armed forces to protect our freedom. We owe a debt to you!