I collect mantelpieces

I decided to collect some mantelpieces of my own, inspired by Rachel Hurdley’s experiment (I also thought that bedside tables would make for an interesting collection). So here below is a selection of mantelpieces, starting with my own.

What do the objects placed on a mantelpiece say about the owner? Do they provide a snapshot of that person’s life, or personality? If the mantelpiece is cluttered does that mean the person’s mind and life is cluttered? If the mantelpiece is carefully styled, what does that say? If it is minimalist and relatively empty, is that person a calm person, craving calm surroundings? My mantelpieces are quite cluttered, am I a chaotic person needing but not able to get a sense of calm? Or am I just too busy to unclutter them? My mantelpiece is quite eccentric – not many people have cats with hats on their mantelpiece. Am I an eccentric person, an nonconformist? Some of my friends appear to be quite sentimental, having very personal and poignant items of memory on their mantelpieces. Others have matched items to the room’s general scheme, rather than choosing items that touched them. Some have very bare mantelpieces, my tidier friends perhaps. Some just have one or two items of meaning on their mantelpieces. Friend Nine has a great mantelpiece I think – she has a very busy life. Judge for yourself, what do you think?

The Mantlepieces:

My mantelpiece – ‘The ceramic cats are all presents, which came mostly from my husband. I bought the green ones in Oxford during my lunch hour one day just because I liked them. The hats come from an Innocent Smoothie promotion a couple of years ago – we loved the little hats on top of the smoothies so much we drank about ten smoothies in two weeks just to get the hats. The oil burner comes from the Body Shop.’

My Mantelpiece

Husband – ‘(The evolution of the Cylons from Battlestar Gallactica, a TV series made by NBC Universal): Toaster, Serge from Caprica, U87, Original series Cylon, New series Cylon and Number Six.’

Husband’s Mantelpiece

Friend One – ‘The figures are from the willow tree range and have all been bought because of their meaning. The clock was what I bought my mum and dad for their silver wedding. The lego is the complete set of the team GB set that came out for the Olympics and the painting was a thank you present to me from a work colleague.’

Friend One’s Mantelpiece

Friend Two – ‘Photos of my daughter and our wedding, dog ornament was a wedding present, candle holders from Ikea and cards for my husband’s birthday tomorrow. A very boring mantelpiece.’

Friend Two’s Mantelpiece

Friend Three – ‘Recently redid lounge and recycled ornaments from other parts of house to fit dark wood so elephant, clock. Bought good vases from Next to go into gold theme. Then it seems to be a place to gather dangerous or breakable things like my husband’s stanley knife I keep nagging him to move and my daughter’s money box. It’s also a place I keep tickets so Steam train Xmas tickets there and party invites so one of my daughter’s invites there. Left hand side are her birthday thank you letters I forgot to post!’

Friend Three’s Mantelpiece

Friend Four – ‘It has on it: three black vases from one village [shop], one has some fake flowers in which were given to me for my birthday; three little pretty dishes in my favourite blues made by a potter from Leigh-on-sea who we used to see annually at a festival in Cheltenham – I bought a dish each year and gave several away as gifts to friends; a little blue heart decoration given to me by a good friend; a candle; a little plate with a cat’s face on – I have had this for years and years (since I was a teenager I think…) but can’t remember where it came from; and a crystal rock brought back from the Philippines by my dad when I was a child, it’s always fascinated me.’

Friend Four’s Mantelpiece

Friend Five – ‘Glass of water salad Sarnie (my lunch) DVD & a zapper.’

Friend Six – ‘Not very exciting! Clock a gift from your sister, photo of my daughter aged around 7 or 8, Bristol blue glass jug a gift when I left Bristol!’

Friend Six’s Mantelpiece

Friend Seven – ‘There are nice smelling candles for those romantic evenings very few and far between , there is a photo of me and my boyfriend one of the only photos of us together!! The nun is a reminder of the witch (aka my boyfriend’s mum) but shhhh she’s Catholic and it kinda looks like her it made me smile when I brought it from school fair! The other random person is just a random we who I like! Behind that is a photo or the kids!! There is also a couple of random things on there like a coat hook! I’m just too lazy to hang it back on wall in the right place ha ha!!’

Friend Seven’s Mantelpiece

Friend Eight – ‘Note the only thing we have apart from liquid candles is our love film DVD waiting to finish watching and post back.’

Friend Eight’s Mantelpiece

Friend  Nine – ‘Old formula can with bits of junk from pockets. Makeup brush I got for my wedding makeup. Toy horse from Washington wildfowl park. ‘Best dad’ trophy from Rainbows. Husband’s wallet. Toy skull with half a toy brain. Timer for making the kids share. Glitter glue. Perfume. Nail varnish remover. Assorted children’s books. On top of books is a painting I did, face down covered with letters I really should sort out. Sun cream. E45 cream. Another box f junk. Jumbo ludo.’

Friend Nine’s Mantelpiece

Friend Ten – ‘From the left there is a photo of my youngest son, a candle, a fabric rose in a vase, photo of mine and my friend’s kids on holiday, another candle, news paper cutting about toy library, bits of lego, various other random photos and the phone.’

Friend Ten’s Mantelpiece

Friend Elven – ‘This is ours with candles from body shop on top and one from a great friend, holiday money money box and CD cupboards.’

Friend Eleven’s Mantelpiece

Friend Thirteen – ‘Glass reed air freshener – Asda (haha) clock – I bought it myself to match room colours, pink BFF card given to me by my best friend when I was going through a rough time earlier this year. Glass candle jar asda again I’m afraid! Sorry a bit boring!!’

Friend Thirteen’s Mantelpiece

Friend Thirteen has a second mantelpiece – ‘Air freshener, three curtain pole brackets (from pole we no longer have) small clock, gift to husband after 20 years in a previous job. Big clock gift at Christmas a few years ago from my dad and step mum, mouth piece from my tenor horn – found when unpacking after our house move 18 months ago! Small motor bike as mouth piece – but it was on husband’s 40th birthday cake eight years ago. Finally two glass coasters with pictures of our boys in, put up here to keep little fingers off them. We don’t use this room very much as its so cold!!’

Friend Thirteen’s Second Mantelpiece

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6 Responses to I collect mantelpieces

  1. Rachel Hurdkey says:

    Love your collection! Will try to get a link to it from my university website. All best, Rachel Hurdley

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