04 Apr2008


My parents were of a generation when foreign travel was a BIG deal. Even a short trip to Hong Kong for business or pleasure was a serious and well-planned event. They donned suits and trenchcoats, packed leather luggage, and I even have photos of my mom with huge Grace Kelly type hand bags posing in her chicest outfits (often self-sewn) beside the latest turboprops. She would have been shocked by the PHP1 (before tax, fuel, air, baggage, meal, toilet paper, water and other miscellaneous fees?!) tickets to Hong Kong on offer these days… And it was during those trips in the 1950’s and 60’s where she scoured the shops in Hong Kong for that one goody or item that would be a memento of her trip, have good value for money (even at an exchange rate of $1 to PHP2) and would last for eternity. Over several trips, she purchased different types of fruit carved out of jade and other polished colored stones, and managed to assemble a whole bowl filled with these fake fruit. I am sure quite a few of you who have parents and grandparents that have the same thing; this isn’t jewelry quality jade, more like upscale marble or granite… And for some 40-odd years these “stone” fruit have been somewhere on display in the family home.


Last week I was (still) clearing out boxes and boxes of stuff from my ancestors and found some of these jade fruit, most of them falling apart… On closer inspection, the individual pieces of fruit (a grape, or cherry, etc.) were wired together with thin metal wires, covered in a colored paper or fabric, and over the years, the fabric has dried and peeled and the wired have rusted and given way. But I just couldn’t get myself to throw out these jade fruit pieces, despite their being in disrepair. I decided to clean up some of the pieces and salvaged a half dozen jade leaves which I decided to use on a grape platter, and also on a cheese platter. Here, the jade grape leaves share the limelight with a pair of silver grape scissors, which I featured earlier, and a bunch of seedless crimson grapes. For the cheese platter, you can tie small cards to the leaves with the various names of cheeses on offer, then add small bunches of grapes to the platter. So I was so glad I didn’t throw these jade pieces out. It may seem frivolous to even feature these non-essentials, but I am thrilled they will continue to bring pleasure to another generation… I just have to figure out what to do with the individual jade grapes…



  1. The Knittymommy says:

    I remember those. My Lola had those stone grapes. I believe they’re with my Aunt now. Those were cool when I was growing up. I never really met anybody who had those too.

    Apr 4, 2008 | 3:32 am


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  3. aanne says:

    My mom had those different kinds of fruit too, bought them in Hongkong loooong time ago. I’ve been wanting to buy grape scissors like yours MM hopefully I can find them when i go to the antique stores during the week-end.

    Apr 4, 2008 | 4:13 am

  4. Trish says:

    Ours stone grapes are still on display to this day!!! Ours are “green grapes” though.

    Apr 4, 2008 | 5:39 am

  5. Gilda says:

    It’s nice to know that there are people out there that appreciate old stuff from previous generations. Fond memories of my childhood home are re-kindled when I go to antique stores here in Dallas, and I happen upon something my mom or lola had. Remember those colorful pyrex nesting bowls our moms used to have? That’s one example.

    Apr 4, 2008 | 7:58 am

  6. tulip says:

    We still have those, sometimes on display together with other fruits (real ones). We have it in green and crimson and another one which is strikingly red, more like cherries.

    Apr 4, 2008 | 8:09 am

  7. Katrina says:

    How about using the stone grapes like you use stones or those colored balls that are used in glass vases/jars/bowls for flowers or candles?

    Apr 4, 2008 | 12:41 pm

  8. michelle says:

    My grandparents had those too!

    Apr 4, 2008 | 4:31 pm

  9. mikel says:

    keep them! they’re certainly attractive family souvenir’s and they look great as plate decor.

    Apr 4, 2008 | 7:17 pm

  10. Ebba says:

    Anne, I saw these scissors here at Crafts store. Some are actually “new”, I mean they are for use (not just deco); some are kindda like that too, designed for quilting. They look nice and now Market Man gave me an idea to buy a pair and try to keep it in the family. By the way, those fruits too are on sale here.

    Apr 4, 2008 | 8:51 pm

  11. suzette says:

    i used to see those too at my lola’s…yey brings me back to my childhood..

    Apr 4, 2008 | 9:43 pm

  12. Dale says:

    I remember my grandparents having these when I was child. I also remember pictures that were crafted out of this stone too. They were these Chinese style vignettes in these Chinese frames. I was back home in Zamboanga a few months ago and saw that the pictures were still hanging there. I have to ask about the fruits though.

    Apr 5, 2008 | 1:21 am

  13. Brie says:

    Goodness! An individual grape leaf would make a very, very pretty pendant! Just imagine one on a silver “Hook-On Necklace” from James Avery. (May I have one? heehee)

    Apr 5, 2008 | 2:53 am

  14. wilby cariaga says:

    nice. . . it looks stunning. . .

    Apr 8, 2008 | 1:32 pm

  15. charlene says:

    I have the entire bowl, from bananas, to plums the entire bowl of fruit made entirely of jade…Our they worth anything?

    Aug 17, 2008 | 3:01 am

  16. Stacy Macdonald says:

    I just found these grapes in a neighbors bin that had been thrown out! I was wondering if they are worth anything? They are pretty but don’t match in my home.

    Sep 16, 2008 | 2:55 am

  17. Cat Holtzclaw says:

    I have been looking for a source to purchase some carved jade grape leaves. Are you a seller or do you know of a website for them?

    Sep 28, 2008 | 1:23 am


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