tea pot

After facing years of social hardship, my great grandparents left Sicily in the early 1900s. Their names were Nicolo and Maria Pica. Nicolo, at first, came to America alone around 1915 because Maria, my great grandmother, was against leaving her life, family, and home behind. She had 3 sisters and 2 brothers and a home in Palermo. However, after several years apart she finally agreed to join my grandfather who was residing in Detroit. Restricted to only bringing very little of her belongings, my great grandmother had to very selectively decide what to take with her. Two of those selected items that represented her beloved family she was leaving behind were a matching set of peach and bronze tea pot and mug. These items were so important to her as they were passed down to her from her mother. Throughout her life, Maria kept exceptionally diligent care of these antiques and never actually used them for serving or drinking. This is due to her not viewing them as simple glassware, but physical pieces that directly connected her to the life and family in Sicily. My great grandparents were blue collar workers in the heart of Detroit’s industrial revolution who faced extreme deficits in work conditions and pay. Clearly, they went through times of extreme economic struggle where the selling of an artifact could have earned them some money. Despite this my great grandmother absolutely refused to give them up.  After her passing, these pieces were passed down to my grandmother and then again to my mother, who currently has them and cherished them just as much as my great grandmother.

Place(s): Sicily
Year: 1915

– Collin Devlin

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more