I've so named her after the friend who helped me acquire her. Joan (my friend) bought her at auction decades ago. About ten years or so ago she gave the machine to her DIL,,,who -- just before Christmas -- decided she no longer wanted it. So...the machine was taken to the local antiques shop -- Gracie D's here in Mirror (Gracie sells some of my minis).
On Christmas Eve, when I was snowed in, I contacted Joan (my friend) to see if she was okay (she's...ahem...Of A Certain Age), and she told me about the machine. When she found out I'd have loved it, she nearly cried.
"I would've given it to you," she said. "No", I replied, "I'd have wanted to pay you something for it."
Well -- straight-away I contacted Gracie, only to find out the machine had sold the day before...though it was still in the shop, waiting to be picked up. I told Gracie that if the purchaser changed her mind, I would be happy to buy it, because I would clean and oil it and learn to use it.
Long story short, "Joan" (the machine) came home with me yesterday afternoon after I got back from my flying visit to Edmonton.
I've done only the barest research but the serial number (I needed a flashlight to see it) has no alpha prefix, and is in the range that's dated 1894 by the ICMS International Singer Sewing Machine Serial Number Data Base. And that was all I needed to know for certain that "Joan" (the machine) was meant to be mine.
You see, the crazy quilt block I found in a trunk in my aunt's attic in 2000, signed with my grandmother's maiden name initials, is also dated...1894.
Here are some close-ups of this beauty, now ensconced in front of my (north-facing) living room window:
|Look at those drawer handles!|
|The bed decals are almost all worn off|
and the serial number plate is hard to read
|The collapsible end table|
I will take some time to read the booklets, sort the parts and pieces, and clean it according to the instructions provided by Bonnie Hunter's wonderful "Vintage Machines" resources page, and then we'll see if I can learn to treadle!
Just another Christmas blessing, I'm thinking. It's going to be a creative year ahead indeed!