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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Love Tokens

I've posted about this wonderful gold locket that was my paternal grandmother's before, but when I was looking back through some February magazine issues I really enjoyed this article in Martha Stewart Living about Love Tokens, and wanted to share it once again.


Lockets of all shapes and sizes were very popular gifts to loved ones in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Often they contained photos, an inscription, and a lock of hair from the beloved. Given when soldiers went to war, engagements, or the birth of a child, lockets and charms were highly valued tokens of personal affection, and worn daily.

(click on the image below to enlarge then click again to read)









I love coming across antique pieces of jewelry, charms, and lockets, and I have several personal pieces that I wear frequently.



This large gold locket was an engagement gift to my grandmother with my grandfather's photo and a lock of his thick gorgeous hair. Her initials are inscribed on the cover, Irma Gertrude Russell.


They were married around 1910, and my daddy was the last of 6 children born to them. I had an uncle born in 1912 (the first) and then she had 4 stillborn babies before my dad was born in 1929. They hadn't expected my daddy to live and so he had very few pieces of clothing as she didn't want to get her hopes up, but there he was; tiny, but healthy; a little miracle.





34 comments:

  1. Stories like these just pull at my heart-strings! How blessed you are to have this treasured heirloom. Such a beautiful locket, and to have the photo and lock of hair too...priceless!
    Beautiful post, thanks so much for sharing.
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  2. What a wonderful story. What a handsome couple, he sure had gorgeous hair!
    I have my paternal grandmother's watch/locket too...it is a wonderful treasure..just as your is.

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  3. Debra,
    I am quite smitten with this post on lockets!!!
    Inside the one given to me by my MoMa is a photo of "Mr. Ed", our toddler son and I when "Mr. Ed" received a military promotion on one side. The other side contains a photo of our son. The gold locket with the pearl given to me by my beloved neiighbor holds a single photo of "Mr. Ed" after he retired from the service and in his (school) bus driving clothes!!!
    I adore that you have a photo of your grandfather and a lock of his hair!!! Precious! The photo of your grandmother is charming!
    These are the heirlooms that hold us close to our love ones as our families dwindle.
    Thank you for sharing this morning!!!
    Fondly,
    Pat

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  4. I have always loved lockets and the stories behind their secret contents. The story of your special locket is lovely. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Oooh Debra, I got goosebumps while reading this... your locket is so very beautiful and holds so many precious memories... and so much family love... I am so happy you shared it once more... I love those beautiful "love tokens"... my daddy had given my mama a heart shaped locket when they first met, inscribed with her name, Phyllis, on it... my mama passed away 30 years ago and at the time my sister was pregnant with my first niece... so she named her Phyllis after our mama... (I call her Filly)... and mama's beautiful locket is now my nieces... so many tales of family of love these treasures hold... and now my nieces each have one of your beautiful "love token" pendants I have given them which already hold new memories... wishing you a beautiful Sunday, xoxo Julie Marie

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  6. What an interesting story! I find myself in LOVE with lockets this year...the old ones have such a beautiful history. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Such a lovely post - beautiful lockets but to have something so precious from your own family with the hair brings a lump to my throat.

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  8. Love the locket, but the story behind it is even more beautiful. There is something immensely romantic and generous about these past times when life was humble and love was almost idealistic...Thank you for sharing your precious family treasure and for writing such kind words on my blog.

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  9. Wow! Your grandfather was so handsome...grandmother so pretty too. I love that dress she is wearing.

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  10. What a sweet and lovely post, gal! Love your photos and the warm sentiments you've shared! Just love your heart, Debra!
    Happy Sunday!
    Becky

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  11. Oh my heavens what a romantic and wonderful post Debra!!!
    Lovelovelove the locket and the pictures especially the one of your dad so funny how they always had a lock of hair too
    Fabulous memories and a true treasure

    xxoo
    Pam

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  12. I have several lockets also, but the one I cherish is my mom's. It is not engraved...although her watch was. Great post!

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  13. Hi Debra, I have always loved lockets, especially the vintage ones. Your grandmothers is beautiful and I know you cherish this piece. xx, Sherry

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  14. What a beautiful and romantic post, Debra! I love lockets and yours is totally a treasure! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. this is an amazing story and what a treasure! your grandfather was a looker!

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  16. I enjoyed reading this Debra!What a beautiful treasure from your Grandmother!You are very lucky to have such a beautiful piece like that!I am sure it makes you smile every time you wear it!
    xx
    Anne

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  17. You're so lucky to have these beauties!
    Brenda

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  18. How sentimental Debra to have that special locket. I don't have one come to think of it, and we have so many treasures. I am going to have to see if my Mom has one. Yours is beautiful.

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  19. Debra, What a beautiful story and such a special locket. When I first saw this I said, "What is Debra doing with my locket"? I have that exact same... EXACT same locket! And my initials are on the front in the same font. My locket is 25 years old, given to me by my husband. The initials are hand engraved... just like your. The engraving actually cost more than the locket... over $500.00 To do that work today is very pricey and there are not that many good engravers around now. Most are done by machine. The back of my locket is engraved with our family's names and dates of birth.

    I love that your grandfather's locks are in the locket!

    I am stunned to see one so alike as mine. The chain is very different thought. My locket is my most beloved piece of jewelry... even more priceless to me than my engagement ring because of the family names engraved on it.

    What a beautiful post about something so sentimental! If we ever meet I'll have to show you my locket!

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  20. oh my gosh so romantic! She was a beauty too! Such a tiny waist, what a lovely post,

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  21. SO charming, Debra! I loved your story! I have a locket that was my husband's grandmother's...it has a photo of his grandmother and one of his grandfather when they were just newlyweds...

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  22. Debra, I loved your beautiful story. Your grandmother's locket, not to mention its wonderful contents, is something I am sure you cherish ... as would anyone. When I graduated from high school, my grandmother sent me money and I chose to buy something special with it, which was a beautifully engraved oval locket. I then wrote and asked her to send me a picture of herself at the age I was then. She sent a wonderful old photograph of herself as a young girl, with long curls cascading over her shoulder and a huge bow on the back of her head. Now, 47 years later, my cherished locket resides in a shadow box, hung on the wall above other old pictures of her and my father's family. I've always been so glad I did not spend her money frivolously way back then and that I, too, have such a wonderful keepsake.
    Diane

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  23. what a treasure your g-mom's locket is:) and such a charming story, debra! i have my great g-dad's locket packed away. i think i'll bring it out and display it--thanks for the inspiration!

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  24. A wonderful post full of memories. Thank you for sharing. Happy Valentines Day!

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  25. I love sharing my grandmother's wonderful lockets in some of my posts, too...yours are photographed so beautifully! I am pinning them to my hearts and love pin board!

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  26. What a wonderful story, made my day, thanks so much for sharing this..

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  27. Thanks for sharing this token and its story with us. She wears such a pretty dress on the photo.

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  28. Oh my...what a truly magnificent treasure...it is gorgeous and your grandparents were such a beautiful couple...What a great sentiment/treasure to be handed down through the generations...

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  29. A great day for the sentimental. What a gorgeous treasure, especially with the hair and the photos!
    Liz @ Quirky Vistas

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  30. What a gorgeous treasure you have in that locket! Such a neat piece. Thank you for sharing it at Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

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  31. I'm such a history buff and love hearing others family stories. That's a beautiful piece of family nostalgia you have there Debra. Thank you for sharing it on Shabbilicious Friday. I'll be featuring it on tomorrow's party.

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  32. I headed over here from Anita's...love this post! I can't tell you how much I love the locket. And, I love the family history you shared...how your dad wasn't expected to make it. So precious. This is so special on so many levels.

    Have a good weekend.

    Emily

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  33. Amazing treasure, and the story is just wonderful.

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