Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Memories with memorabilia

Many of you know that my grandmother died in March 2007. This weekend my aunts, mother, cousins, and I spread all of her jewelry out on the table at the cottage and chose who got to keep what. Sort of. My aunts had chosen some particular items for themselves, and a specific item for my mother. The rest, we got to share, based on our memories of my grandmother wearing the jewelry, or personal taste. I got some really nice pieces.

The image to the right is my favourite, aesthetically. I don't actually remember her wearing it, but I've seen pictures, and I've always loved it. The centre is a black diamond (which is not so much a diamond as a black stone, but that's what they call it). It picks up the light and sometimes looks purple or blue. I love the romantic nature of it.

I also got a set of graduated pearls, a beautiful silver plate locket, a rhinestone necklace (with matching clip-on earrings), a fun little pin in a gondola shape with flowers, and, ever so appropriately for a librarian, a pink rhinestone sweater clip! Yep. A clip made with a string of pink rhinestones that you use to hold your sweater in place when you wear it over your shoulders, but without your arms in the sleeves! Ha. I can't wait to sport that puppy at work!

On top of my grandmother's jewelry, we were also going through some items that had belonged to my great grandmothers, as well as my grandmother's sister. I got to take a few really interesting items that had belonged to my great grandmother (my middle name sake). She was an artist. My grandfather has lots of her paintings at the house, and there is one I have my eye on that I hope he lets me take at some point. She took lots of classes at the Ontario College of Art and Design back in the late 1930s and early 1940s (I think those are the dates). So, one assumes she knew lots of artists. The item pictured to the right is what appears to be a hand made metal creation in the shape of a painters pallet with brush. I don't know anything else about it, but it has an artist's marking on the back. I like to think that someone she knew at the college gave it to her. Or, perhaps she bought it at a craft show. Either way, it is really cool.

Some of the other neat things that were hers are pictured below. There are a large number of pins, the most interesting (at the moment) of which are here. My great grandmother's mother was Swedish - my only known ancestor not to have originated in the United Kingdom. So, the Swedish flag and three crown insignia pin is a nice connection to her. The "Womens War Work C.R.C.S." pin is my great grandmother's. She was heavily involved in women's war work, and was, I believe, head of her local C.R.C.S. women's group during WWII. The other pin is also clearly related to the war, but so far I haven't been able to find out exactly what it relates to. The red ensign flag was in use during both world wars, but I can't figure out what the other symbol on that flag represents. More research is taking place as I write though, so one of these days I will know. I'm almost more excited about these little pins than any of the lovely pieces that I'll actually be able to wear for fancy dress. It is so terribly neat to have these pieces of family history!


faerie-writer said...

Gorgeous stuff! I LOVE the necklace with the black diamond too!

MadJenny said...

Thanks! Now all I need is a fancy dress event to wear it to. And a fancy dress...