Quilt Archive

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pennies from Heaven Shadowbox

This is a shadowbox that I made for both Denis and his brother.  There is a story behind the coins in the shadowbox.  Their dad, Bill, was a coin collector.  He would keep spare change (and would find it, too!) and would collect this change for an entire year, then cash it in at the bank.  It was his "mad money" while on vacation.  He was known to hide his stash of coins and money in the rafters of the basement at their home in Neenah.  Bill and Stella (Denis' mom) have both passed away, and Denis inherited the house.  He was doing some renovations in the basement (removing walls, etc.) in preparation to selling the house.  We often wondered about Bill's stash, if it even existed, and if we would find it.  The last wall to come down would reveal its hiding place, and at long last "the treasure" had been found.

I used some of the actual wheat pennies and rolls of coins as part of the display.  This is contained in a 12" x 12" shadowbox frame.  There are notations on the rolls written in pencil in Bill's handwriting. 
I gave this one to Gordon, Denis' brother for Christmas in 2007.  It was the WOW gift that Christmas.  It made him cry.  I made another one for Denis soon after.

Here is the write up from the shadowbox:  "Bill was well known as a collector of many things.  One of his most prolific hobbies was to collect coins, roll them in paper wrappers, and stash them in the walls ad rafters of his basement workshop.  During recent basement renovations, Denis had almost given up hope of finding this legendary treasure until the last of day of his work there.  The wall containing the door to the workroom was the last to come down, and there the treasure resided.  Rolls of wheat pennies dating back to the 1940's came tumbling down, as well as rolls of quarter and half dollars.  This display is dedicated to you, Bill.  Although you are gone from us, you continue to shower us with 'Pennies from Heaven'.  Thanks, Dad."

These photographs are the ones used in the display:
 Bill repurposed a variety of containers for his coins, including this Velvet tobacco tin.
Here are the tobacco tins and rolls of coins stashed within the wall above the door to the workroom.  This space was full of tins and coins.

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