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Hope chest?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Do any of you ladies keep a "Hope chest?" This used to be common; girls would collect things for their eventual marriage, often starting soon after they turned 12. Common items were table cloths, silverware, etc.

The reason I ask is that I discovered a while back that full sets of silverware, good quality stuff, is often available pretty reasonably on e-bay. We have a friend who really had never bought his wife much in the way of "luxuries," and when she saw the silver my wife has (family heirloom Wm. Rogers stuff), she was really impressed. I found a set for her and got it for her with some money her husband had made having me sell stuff for him on e-bay.

We're talking a full set of silver plate (not solid silver) Wm. Rogers silverware from back in the 1930's for less than $100. Many of these sets are from "Hope chests," and it's not unusual to find them in unused condition.

Maybe I'm getting old, but I wonder if that sort of thing is still something new brides want?
post #2 of 21
My parent's bought me a cedar chest I used like a hope chest, but i didn't have anything too fancy in it. Some blankets, towels, and keepsakes or things I picked up to decorate my home. I would have appreciated some fancier type things, but I don't know about silver. Maybe a china set or the silverware for my china. But then since those are things you'd usually register for as wedding items, I don't know how that would work.
post #3 of 21
I did. My dad started it for me actually and when he died when I was 16 I kept adding to it. I was grateful to have it once I moved out.

My Dad mostly put in pretty cups and saucers, but when I took over I put in practical things like linen, towels, an iron, knives, cutlery, bowls, a few pots etc.
post #4 of 21
My mother has a hope chest and it has my baby things... it will go to me when I'm older or when I have a child (whichever comes first.)
post #5 of 21
I don't have a chest, but I have already started to buy some things so when I do move out, I have a few items. Since my mom is gone, all her china and everything else is mine.
post #6 of 21
When I was 28, I made an idle comment one day about how much I liked the tradition of the hope chest... and my father up and built me one! I was already too old to have any hopes left, but by golly, my father gave me a place to put 'em, bless his heart.

And it's just perfectly Papa, too -- simple, unadorned, and built as if it had to withstand nuclear holocaust. It's where I keep all my very most important memorabilia.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Do any of you ladies keep a "Hope chest?" This used to be common; girls would collect things for their eventual marriage, often starting soon after they turned 12. Common items were table cloths, silverware, etc.

The reason I ask is that I discovered a while back that full sets of silverware, good quality stuff, is often available pretty reasonably on e-bay. We have a friend who really had never bought his wife much in the way of "luxuries," and when she saw the silver my wife has (family heirloom Wm. Rogers stuff), she was really impressed. I found a set for her and got it for her with some money her husband had made having me sell stuff for him on e-bay.

We're talking a full set of silver plate (not solid silver) Wm. Rogers silverware from back in the 1930's for less than $100. Many of these sets are from "Hope chests," and it's not unusual to find them in unused condition.

Maybe I'm getting old, but I wonder if that sort of thing is still something new brides want?
I jut want to say that it is so sweet to do that for your friends wife.

I have a nice set of silverware that my MIL gave me. I may not use it very often, but I do cherish it. When I do use it, I reflect on how much I love her and how much I appreciate that she gave it to me and *gave* me the best gift of all....her son! Sappy, I know...but it's the truth. My MIL is awesome!
post #8 of 21
I don't have a hope chest, but I like the idea! It would have been nice to have something like that when I moved in with my boyfriend. I don't much like his bachelor dishes or silverware (plastic bowls) but since I didn't have any of my own...
post #9 of 21
I don't, but like the idea.My friend has had a 'hope chest' that has sat at the end of her bed for as long as I've known her, but only has sentimental (and junk) stuff in it. She is getting married next month, and today at her bridal shower her mom gave her some family heirlooms...should've put them in the chest. That would've been cute. I never had a dad, so maybe only girls with fathers do the hope chest thing. Nowadays with bridal showers, you don't really need one as much either. Most women move out before getting married now too, so that changes the needs alot.
post #10 of 21
well, for all practical purposes, i have one... but not intentionally!
my grandmother left me her wedding set - i plan to use it when/if i marry. my mother gave me her wedding china... my dad bought her china in Japan when they were newlyweds, & she prefers it.
post #11 of 21
My parents put together one for my sister, but not for me. She bought a lot of stuff and put it in there herself. My dh's grandma said I could have hers, but his mother stole it, just like she stole everything else in her house.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm glad to hear the tradition isn't completely dead.

I know our friend was just tickled pink with the silver set. She looks forward to getting it out for special occasions.

I just looked on e-bay, and you can still find sets very reasonably.

Dottie bought a set of silverware (stainless, not silver), china, and Revereware before we got married. We still have (and use) all of it.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meowers View Post
I don't, but like the idea.My friend has had a 'hope chest' that has sat at the end of her bed for as long as I've known her, but only has sentimental (and junk) stuff in it. She is getting married next month, and today at her bridal shower her mom gave her some family heirlooms...should've put them in the chest. That would've been cute. I never had a dad, so maybe only girls with fathers do the hope chest thing. Nowadays with bridal showers, you don't really need one as much either. Most women move out before getting married now too, so that changes the needs alot.
Brooke, I never had a hope chest but I over the years my Mom has given things that mean things that are memories for her and my RIP Dad to my brother and me. Beyond that, DH and I bought most of the things for us.

Hey, you, getting married in May , I'll buy you a chest but it may be plastic and I will put some linens in there for you.

Rosemary
post #14 of 21
I just hope to be married. What is a "HOPE CHEST"?
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, at one time, it was one of those large "chests" (steamer trunk?) in which a young woman would put things to use in her new home when she got married. Such things as linens, silverware, china, etc. would go in it.

Back in the days before credit cards, this was how a family got started right after marriage.
post #16 of 21
I never had a hope chest, but always envied the idea of one. When my husband and I moved in together, a lot of our things came from his family.

I suppose it was his hope chest
post #17 of 21
My dad made my other two sisters one (He's a trim carpenter so they are gorgeously beautiful) but for some reason I never wanted one so he never made me one. My sister's husband helped build hers for her along with my dad. He was working for my dad at the time and recently took over his business. I guess I should ask for one since he's still building stuff and before I don't have the chance to have him make me one. He's already 60 years old.

My mom always told me it was a place to put your baby blankets, photos/books, ect. Stuff like that. I didn't think they were for preparing for marriage with the way she put it so that was interesting to learn. My mom was always like, "you don't want to hope to get married?!" when I would say I didn't really care for one. My mom has one from when she was younger. My sisters got theirs when they were 16, I think as a birthday gift.
post #18 of 21
Before I was married I had a hope chest. I think it is a fantastic idea. It was nice buying stuff to save and dreaming about being married.
post #19 of 21
Butzie, you gave me a great idea! If plastic boxes can be hope chests, then that is what all these storage boxes are! They do hold precious things...
post #20 of 21
In my mom's family, it was tradition to get a "hope chest" or ceder chest for your high school graduation. Mine was delivered the day after graduation. Mom always used her's for out of season clothes, so that is what I used mine for, and for momentoes. When I actually was cleaning out her house to sell it, it was still in my old room. Inside, at the very bottom, under a quilt I had put in there I found a few odds and ends she put in there...a hand painted collinder (sp? to rinse vegetables), a cake server, my baby spoon with my initials, my girl scout sash with all my badges and my baptismal gown. Yeah, I cried, but I was so touched that she thought about putting those things aside for me. Still curious about the collinder though....

Mom mom grew up in the 50's so she filled her hope chest with her silver service. She worked for 6 years before getting married and part of her paycheck each week went to a set of silver (not plated...real silver). By the time she was married, she had a full service for 12. Plus some china and crystal. Back then, I don't think they really had registries and "entertaining" was MUCH more glamourous that what it is now, so young girls tried to get more of the "extra" stuff while they could. The wedding presents were more blankets and towels and that kind of stuff. Of course, most young people didn't live on their own before getting married so didn't have the basics that a lot of people have now.
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, for what a real steamer trunk costs these days, you could pay for ... well, make a start on paying for a pretty good wedding!

Maybe we can single-handedly bring back the Hope Chest tradition?
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