Words to Live By for the New Year

We're all prone to taking stock around the turn of the year, and we look to our best authors and intellects at New Year's to tell us how to make the most of the occasion. Sage quotes abound. Once you dive into these thoughts of review and renewal, you can't help but see their spirit everywhere. So we've compiled below a few of our favorite insightful thoughts about the New Year and paired them with the pieces from our 19th Annual New Year's Auction that embody them. These antique pieces can inspire us for years to come. For as Winston Churchill said, "if we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future."

atmos-clockLe Coultre, Atmos Clock
“Tonight’s December thirty-first,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark, it's midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year!”
~ Ogden Nash

drinksAntique Cut Glass Grouping
"Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community."
~ Mark Twain

fullsizeoutput_66Lowell Ellsworth Smith (OH, 1924-2008), Farm Near Hudson, O.
“Harvest is real, but be wise to sow what you will love to reap in the new year, because your day of harvest is fast approaching.”
~ Bamigboye Olurotimi

fullsizeoutput_65Vintage Hagenauer Miniature Bronze Figure of a Child
Comes now a smiling New-Born Year
To fill to-day with goodly cheer—
An infant hale and lusty.
Upon our door-sill he is left
By Daddy Time, of clothes bereft
Despite the season gusty...
Time puts it wholly up to us
To dress him!
~ John Kendrick Bangs

fullsizeoutput_6cFamille Rose Porcelain Sculptures of Guanyin and Shoulao (god of longevity)
"You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream."
~ C.S. Lewis

fullsizeoutput_6bA Vintage Floral Still Life, Signed H. Stumpfruck
"'I have a fine lot of hopes here in my basket,' remarked the New Year. 'They are a sweet-smelling flower — a species of rose.'"
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

fullsizeoutput_6fBenjamin Williams Leader (English, 1831-1923), The Gloaming
“The past is the beginning of the beginning and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.”
~ H. G. Wells

View the complete catalogue for the 19th Annual New Year's Auction

Content created by the Leland Little editorial team