hybrid objects, subject objects,
have a quality
Bachelard, G. The Poetics of Space
I write to you once more with regard to your expectations as the heir to your aunt’s possessions. This circumstance would have conveyed both sorrow at the loss and interest as to your potential gain. For the latter however, I must advise against undue optimism: your aunt’s fragile remnants comprised little of value.
Her material possessions were folded in a suitcase, which, at your behest, we have taken the liberty of opening. The odour of rust was quite overpowering and I fear the fabric will not endure, even if we were not minded to take the course of action which I will humbly propose.
The contents defied understanding but might have hinted at a darkness of the soul, if we were to assume that the items were the products of her hands. A sepia composition implied a dark, conspiratorial world in which men of the cloth and members of the gentry, and including men of law such as myself, were esteemed to be some considerable distance from salvation, which was reserved for those of a lower class. More disturbing was a type of handmade doll that some of our missionary brethren have witnessed amongst savages. You would no doubt wonder at how your aunt might have made acquaintance with such practices and be inclined to postulate a more innocent interpretation, but I am afraid there was some evidence, which I will not put down in writing, of a more sinister meaning. There is also some indifferent handwork, lacking finish, and with motifs belonging to a somewhat different genre to those which normally grace the teatray, and needlework of a good quality, but which has been defaced with imagery that is scarcely more pleasing to the eye than that of the tablewear. On a more conventional level, there are signs of your aunt’s thrift in a number of patchwork cloths with unusual motifs. Your aunt also seems to have evinced an interest in geography, although maps are of a strange landscape, of no familiar provenance.
In short, dear Madam, the collection is of a strange nature, and has an air of something unpleasant. As material it is unfit even for dishrags. Unless my account of the contents has stirred some intelligence and suggested a value that I have not discerned, I would suggest that, on your authorization, this bundle of aged and stained cloth be destroyed.
I will await your further instructions, and be assured, madam, of my sincere wishes to be of assistance in this regard.