The first time I saw the group of black ivory Indian elephants sitting in the antique shop it immediately made me recall the ones my Grandmother had sitting in her ornament stand in her front room.
As children, my sister and I were forbidden to touch these as we were told we could break them. My Father had brought them back from India in 1928 when he was in the Rifle Brigade. Now what I was looking at appeared to be the same set of elephants. I knew I had to have them. There were five in the group; Father, Mother and three smaller ones.
I had always wondered where my Grandmothers set had gone after she had disappeared to many years ago. I opened the shop door and walked in. it was full of o many items that all held their own little part of history. The shop owner appeared from a small back room and was dressed in rather shabby jeans and patterned jumper.
‘Can I help you’ he said, walking towards me.
‘Possibly.’ I said ‘what is the price of that set of Indian elephants you have in your window?’
‘Are yes, a magnificent example of the group. The price is £125’ he said
‘Do you know where they came from? You see my Grandmother used to have a similar set’ I said.
‘Better than that,’ he said pulling a folder out from under the counter. He took an ebay email receipt from it and showed it to me.
When I saw the name I had a shock as it was from my Sister. The family connection was obvious. I now knew where they had disappeared to all those years ago. She had taken them without telling me after my Grandmother had died. I knew of all the other items distributed around the family at the time of her death, but if I had been allowed the choice I would have certainly asked for them. I don’t think I can trust her again as she had told me she didn’t know where they were when I had asked.