Heirloom Objects: An Object That Has Been Handed Down Through the Generations

Our HEIRLOOM objects are personal objects of importance that have been given to us by older family members. Objects in this classification may have belonged to the same family over many years, adding to our family narrative. These items hold great emotional providence symbolising where we have come from. HEIRLOOM belongings play a role in linking us to our intergenerational past. An expectation is placed on these items for us to hold on to them and pass them down to our younger members in the future. These items usually, but not always, hold a monetary value such as jewellery, antiques, items with brand names and/or of iconic design. HEIRLOOM belongings can also be associated with a defining life event such as marriage, military service or anniversaries. Abby, a To Keep or Not To Keep supporter, had this to say about what she created using one of her heirloom items: ‘My grandmother’s wedding dress was so special but taking up space I didn’t have. When my daughter was married we chose to use the fabric to tie around the bride and bridesmaids’ flower bouquets. It made us feel happy to have found such a special use for it.’

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