Sunday, September 16, 2012

Drawing of Lots

My father has told me on more than one occasion that two de Büren sisters did not speak for years because of a chair. It appears that one coveted heirloom was promised to one sister and then became the property of her sibling. I took it as merely embellished family storytelling, but I found a document that may give some credence to the tale.

My grandfather, Henri de Büren, was one of eight children, and it appears that in February of 1944 at Châtelaine, near Geneva, there was a Tirage au Sort or a Drawing of Lots to divide up de Büren patrimony of Philippe Frederic de Büren amongst his children. Philippe Frédéric did not pass away until 1953, but as he was living on the Ranch in Argentina and most of the family furniture, silver, et al was still in Geneva, perhaps he felt it was time to divide the family heirlooms so his children – many of whom were living in Europe – could enjoy them.

As the lots were drawn, someone illustrated them, first quickly in pencil and then again in ink. While these objects were partitioned, my understanding is that most of them stayed in storage until after WWII. While I recognize certain objects from my trips to relatives as a boy, most are a mystery to me.

If the enmity between two sisters over a chair really did exist, it may have simply resulted from the luck of the draw.


  1. I'll take chair #49.
    I know how these "things" can divide families. Loved seeing the illustrations.

  2. This article gives the light in which we can the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article.



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