Sadly, my grandfather died young, and my brothers and I never met him. The legacy he left behind includes etchings, watercolors, carved busts, an intricately carved fiddle, and many wonderful pieces of furniture. We each have pieces. For example, I have a beautiful hutch-cabinet, and a library-size table that I use as my dining room table, with carved lion heads on the ends. One brother has the violin, another has a bust and an end table, and so on. And then, there's the piece that nobody wanted, the ugly lamp...
He and his wife recently bought a retirement home in Cape Cod, and have been cleaning out their former home and getting rid of stuff. Periodically, a package will arrive in the mail. Recently, the package included a lovely needlepoint that my mom had made. It was rolled up, smelled like wood smoke, and was dirty. I had it dry-cleaned, matted, and framed with glass, and this weekend we hung it on the wall at our Loon Lake cottage. I remember my mom making this, and I know she'd be glad to know I have it safely now.
The other panels have a Star of David (often called a Jewish Star) and a menorah. Compared to my grandfather's usual intricate, detailed, sculptural carving, these crude engravings are rather odd.
The more I scrubbed, and rinsed, the more of the gold paint came off, and the more red and black I discovered. I think the red was painted over the black, though I'm not sure.
And then, as I continued scrubbing, the red and black paint (and some white that I presume is a primer) all started to come off too, exposing the bare wood underneath.
When I finally stopped scrubbing and rinsing today, this is how the lamp looked.
The paint almost completely came off the top of the lamp, but not around the curves.