Antique Jewelry: Out of Aprons–Into Bling

NOTE: Because I enlarged the photos to show detail, you can’t tell the actual size. I have added some description in the captions that I hope will help put them in perspective.

It would be misleading to leave the impression that my ancestors spent all their time in aprons. (Mostly the women, but as we’ve seen, Leonard Guy Anderson and my father, Paul Kaser wore aprons and Joseph Kaser wore a carpenter’s apron.)  But the women wore bling.

I have resolved this year to photograph the many heirlooms that I have inherited, and share them and their stories with you.  Today I will start with some pieces of antique jewelry that belonged to Hattie Morgan Stout, my great-grandmother. Her husband, “Doc” Stout adored her, and I have no doubt that many of these were gifts from him. Doc Stout is the connection to the Cochran ancestors I am writing about this month–his mother was Emeline Cochran.

My mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser, the namesake of Hattie Morgan Stout, stored the antique jewelry in a collection of small boxes.  She gave them to me for safekeeping when she went into a nursing home, and I added notes as she told me the history of the pieces.

Cameos were big during Hattie’s lifetime. (1842-1928) and I have several antique jewelry pieces with cameos. These little earrings have a cameo surrounded by very small diamonds. My mother thought that there should be a pin or necklace that matched, but perhaps she was thinking of the pin/pendant that is just below them. Although the earrings’ cameo is not too impressive, the carving of the cameo in this antique jewelry pin is exquisite. The pin once had stones or beads around the edge, but they are all gone.  I believe it was small pearl-like beads because there are a few lying in the box where the cameo rests.

Antique jewelry - cameo earrings

Pair of cameo earrings, edged with small diamonds. Size: 1/2″ across; smaller than a dime. Owned by Hattie Stout

antique jewelry - cameo pin

Cameo pin-pendant belonging to Hattie Stout. Size: 1 ” wide by 1 1/2″ high.

Apparently, Hattie liked emeralds–or at least the color green. December is the month for green stones, but her birthday was in August, so that does not explain her love of green stones. The small heart-shaped pendant has a row of green stones (probably emeralds) and a row of diamonds. The earrings, which look older to me, although I’m no expert, are or very tarnished silver with a green stone in the center.

Antique jewelry - heart shaped pendant

Hattie Stout’s Diamond and Emerald heart pendant. Size: 1/2″ wide 5/8″ high.(dime sized)

antique jewelry - earrings

Hattie Stout earrings with green stone. Size of a dime.

The little matching pins below look very contemporary in design, with their gold work complementing the shape of the branch coral.  The Stouts traveled to Florida. I wonder if that might have been where they purchased these lovely pins. By the way, I did look at those marks on the gold, and it is not writing, but just a design of parallel lines.

coral pins -antique jewelry

Branch coral pins belonging to Hariett Morgan Stout. About the height of a penny and metal part 1/2″ wide.Coral 5/8″ long.

The provenance of this pretty necklace with varied colored stones is interesting.  My mother told me that it was originally her Grandfather Stout (“Doc” William Stout)’s watch chain, which his wife turned into a necklace and bracelet some time after he died in 1910. It occurs to me that this was quite a fancy watch chain for such a serious and moral-minded man as Doc Stout.  But how typical that Hattie would find a way to reuse it. Waste not!

Mother thought the jewelry was created about 1924, when she would have been 18 years old.  I remember her wearing the necklace. We don’t know what happened to the bracelet.

 

Antique jewelry-watchchain necklace

Hattie Stout had Doc Stout’s watch chain made into a necklace and bracelet. My Mother thought that was about 1924.  Size: Total length of chain without clasp: 14 1/1″

And then there is the piéce de rèsistance. I absolutely love this charming pin-pendant. It is a fine filagree of silver with a turquoise stone in the center and a small pearl below.  It belonged to Hariett Morgan Stout (Hattie), but my mother believed that it might have belonged to Hattie’s mother, Mary Morgan (my great-great grandmother). That would make it much older, as Mary lived from 1810 to 1890.

Soon we’ll take a look at how jewelry styles change as I share some pieces belonging to my mother in the twenties and thirties.

 

Antique jewelry silver pin

SIlver, turquoise and pearl pin belonging to Hattie Stout that may have been her mother’s.  Size:   For perspective, the center “hole” is the size of a quarter.

 

I want to thank Cathy Meder-Dempsey for suggestion I join the bloggers talking about heirlooms. The idea originated with Jeanne Bryan Insalco. This list is copied from Cathy’s site. The last two bloggers are additions from Jeanne’s site.

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco of Everyone Has A Story suggested doing posts on heirlooms in a discussion in the Genealogy Bloggers Facebook group and wrote Now Where Did I Put That? Several bloggers have taken her up on the challenge to write about their heirlooms and we hope more will follow our lead.

Other bloggers doing Family Heirloom stories:

You can discover more Heirlooms at Ancestors in Aprons, by entering “Heirloom” in the search box on the right.

8 thoughts on “Antique Jewelry: Out of Aprons–Into Bling

    1. Vera Marie BadertscherVera Marie Badertscher Post author

      Thanks, Brette.For the most part, I’m sure it is the loveliest things that survive through the ages. None of these are intrinsically valuable, but they mean a lot to me. I’m not sure the dividing line between vintage and antique. Next time I’ll be talking about mother’s jewelry from the 20s and 30s, but I assume since its more than 50 years old, its also antique, right? On the other hand, my pop-it beads are vintage.

      Reply
  1. True

    I am so behind. I have jewelry from my Grandparents. You girls are on the ball. We do have to get these out in case they get tossed. Thanks for reminding me! I’ll try to get one done soon! Beautiful Photos.

    Reply
  2. kendra schmidt


    Twitter:
    I enjoyed reading your article and am so happy you’ve preserved the photos and stories. I should have insisted I do that for my mother before her house was vandalized last year. Four generations of jewellery worth $50, 000 was stolen. Makes me want to cry as I write this.

    Reply

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