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Like the warmest childhood summers

Some objects, like smells or sounds, can conjure up reminiscences and feelings from another time. This glass reminds me of my mother when I was a child. I guess we owned some of these Duralex Gigogne glasses then – I would have seen her drinking tomato juice or ginger ale from one, but I have no specific recollection;  it’s only that when I see them I think of her and I feel warm and safe – like the warmest childhood summers.

Recently, walking around our new town, Oxford, we fell over a very wonderful shop called Objects of Use. It is a household/kitchen shop, but with a  real difference. Every choice item comes with a little luggage tag on it with the object’s history and use – almost like a museum. What an inspired approach. Fascinated there for tens of minutes, I came across these favorite but long forgotten of glasses on a top shelf, with a tag that read…

“Duralex Gigogne

Boxes of 6 22cl tumblers. Teetering on the verge of (and into) bankruptcy for much of the past decade, Duralex has been resurrected once again following a management buyout. Made from pressed glass and tempered using a process developed by Saint-Gobain in 1936, these glasses are chip, shock, and heat resistant, microwave, and dishwasher safe. For these reasons the Gigogne was once ubiquitous throughout institutional canteens – to many they are the archetypal school tumbler, although personally they conjure mouthfuls of rough wine washing down a marvellous aile de raie aux câpres in an earthy fishermans café on the back streets of Yport. Each glass is stamped with a serial number from 1 to 48, for reasons we have yet to discover… (actually its probably so they can quality control the moulds.)”

Credit to Objects of Use

…so I guess they hold different memories for many.

Such archetypal and utilitarian objects exist in our lives, consciously unnoticed perhaps, but who knows what they may signify for us in years to come.

Words & image {Ria Mishaal}

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