Nabiha’s Cabinet


I love this cabinet. It used to belong to my grandmother. It was the very first piece of “nice” furniture that she was able to buy after she arrived from Lebanon to Latin America in the first half of the 1900s. Originally it had been part of a complete 10 piece hand carved, sort of claw footed living room set made of exotic amazonian balsamo wood. It was designed by my aunt in the 1940s and then they hired a carpenter to make it. This is the only piece that’s left of that set.  It sat in complete abandonment on my dad’s rooftop terrace for years, enduring sun, rain and a bout with termites which had damaged part of the back panel before the critters decided that the wood was too hard for them to continue tunneling. The glass panels had long ago been broken and my siblings had at one time used it as a sort of catchall where they’d put junk that they could find no other place for. I was up on dad’s rooftop one day, when I commented to my stepmother what a shame it was to allow such a nice cabinet to rot. It was then that she told me that it had belonged to my grandmother and that she had  inherited  it after my grandma’s death. I guess she must have noticed the pleading look on my face because the next thing I knew, she said “You want it? If you want it you can have it” …Darn right I wanted it!  So I lugged it home and had it refinished by a carpenter. He replaced the rotted back panel and spent hours rubbing the wood with a fine cheesecloth and all kinds of oils and unguents until it gleamed. I installed brand new glass on the doors and also replaced the missing brass knobs on the drawer. I was quite touched when my aunt Nelly (may she rest in peace) visited me one day and saw the cabinet and gasped “Oh! my mother’s cabinet!! That used to be in our house!” And then she whispered to me “I’m so glad you have it, because my mother loved this cabinet and I know that you of all people will cherish it and take care of it.” Yes indeed. It’s the one piece of furniture that I would NEVER, ever sell or get rid of. It’s one of my only remaining links with my grandmother Nabiha….and with Lebanon.


cabinet 3

cabinet 4

Joining Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home 



2 thoughts on “Nabiha’s Cabinet

  1. An incredible piece of furniture – Isn’t is amazing how it seems to take a generation or two to appreciate it? You have a treasure.

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