Samuel Berger emigrated to San Francisco in 1904 from Bucharest, Romania, where he learned his trade as a second generation wood carver. You may have remembered my other posts or seen my blog about him. He carved for California's most beautiful public and private buildings. His works can be found in many churches in San Francisco, as well as Hearst Castle in San Simeon.
This lamp was carved for my grandparents. It was my grandmother's prized possession. She would stare at the cherubs for hours. When people came over she would proudly show them her father's lamp. Well, Mom and Bannie (my grandma) died a year and a half apart, so the lamp suddenly became mine.
When it was delivered I cried like a baby. "Why is this here? It shouldn't be here." I couldn't walk into our living room for days. I was just about to call my cousin to give it to her and my husband said that I'd feel better with time.
Now I'm able to walk in the room again and admire this work of art. I'm just looking for the appropriate lamp shade to do it justice.
My lineage on my Mom's side has all passed away leaving me with special memories and some treasures. It doesn't feel right to have this lamp, but I'm proud to share it with you. In time, I'm sure I'll feel a bit more comfortable with it. Until then, I still get a little teary-eyed when I walk into the room.
All that remain are the solemn faces of the cherubs, and the echoes of voices from a bygone era...
images: David Stone Photography