Contributed to the December 14th objects discussion by Isobella Stewart.
What is the object? Pheasant feather
Where does it come from? Initially Croftcat Cottage, Perthshire, Scotland. Latterly now home – wherever it has been.
What connection does the object have to ‘place’: your local area, home, or place of work? This feather is one of several which sits in a venetian glass jar on my windowsill. It used to be on the cross member of a sash window at Croftcat Cottage. I spent my childhood summers there from the ages 7 -17. The jar & feathers belonged to the brother, known as uncle John, of my late grandfather who died before I was born. He cleaned his pipe with the feather stems. When he died I was 16, his son Charlie & his son’s wife continued to live in the house. When Charlie died his wife moved into a Home. I was allowed to choose a momento. I chose the glass vase – which by this time was bereft of feathers. I do not know how the vase came into the family in the first place & speculate that someone in the family, or maybe one of the employers of them – they were all gamekeepers, made the Grand Tour & this was a momento.
What does the object mean to you personally? To me this object is redolent with meaning. The security of being loved within this family which was not my nuclear one. Uncle John’s personality is brought to mind, as well as Charlie & his wife. When I move house which I have often done - I feel unsettled until the glass jar is located & placed on the window sill.
I bought the feathers at a car boot sale in Kent. They now sit within the glass permanently.