Back in May, I wrote about our purchase of an estate from an old friend who collected “anything railroad.” I described a game board for travelers on the Milwaukee Road trains. Many of the items we bought have been sold. Lots of lanterns, brass keys, a phone from one of the offices of a railway station, and some posters as well. But one thing I just cannot get rid of is the set of chimes that were used to call people to the dining room for their meals. It is rather like a xylophone and has 5 bars with varying pitches. They are nicely positioned on a wooden box with openings underneath which makes the sound resonate in a beautiful way. There are hooks on the back so it could be hung on the wall and taken down when in use.
There is also a strap on the back to hold securely on your hand. It has a small “hammer” which I doubt is original to the piece. When I hear it, I picture the many elegant ladies and gentlemen who might enter the classy dining car, reaching their seats and having their servers put napkins on their laps and pour their wine or champagne, then taking their orders.
Hubby has suggested that I put it up for sale. It would, undoubtedly, bring a nice profit since it is functional and quite lovely (and most of all, from a train!). But I have been reluctant to do so if for no other reason than to see the response of our guests at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. I do love to set a fancy table with good silverware, glass napkin rings, knife rests and my mother-in-law’s hand-painted china. Not that I do it often, hand-washing dishes and polishing silver adds to the time spent on food preparation. But when I do, I do it right. This would add a new dimension to our meal.
So, for the time-being it remains in my home, anxious to be bing-bing-binged one more time. Watch for railroad collectibles at antique malls, flea and antique markets and estate sales. But be prepared to open your wallets; railroad lovers will go all out when searching for treasures.