Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sentimental Sunday: Grandma Minnie's Cut Crystal

Grandma Hermina (Minnie) Farkas (1886-1964), born in Hungary, arrived in New York City as a teenager in November, 1901. Minnie was an intelligent young lady who knew her own mind. When her parents tried to arrange a match for her, Minnie threw the suitor's engagement ring out the window and insisted on marrying for love. Her choice was Tivador (Teddy) Schwartz (1887-1965), an immigrant also born in Hungary, who had a flair for languages.

Teddy started a grocery store in the Bronx, running it for many years with Minnie at his side. He was the affable proprietor, she was the business brain. Decades later, after they sold their store and retired, we grandchildren visited their apartment near Tremont Avenue in the Bronx for dinner every other Sunday (if memory serves).

I remember the elegant curio case in the formal living room held several beautiful pieces of cut crystal from their native Hungary. Above is one example, a lovely cut crystal bowl that used to be filled to overflowing with fruit-flavored candies so tempting to adults and children alike. It's a treasured heirloom that will remain in the family, passed down along with stories of Farkas and Schwartz ancestors.


  1. The bowl is lovely. I have one that might be its twin, passed down from my mother.

  2. I have inherited several pieces of cut crystal too. I love the weight and texture of cut crystal. If I can get a good photo, I send it off to to identify the pattern.

    Minnie must have been fun to know.

    1. Old-fashioned cut crystal has its own beauty, don't you think? I want my heirs to know that these are special pieces, treasured by several generations!