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.
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 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.
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.
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.
And then there is the piéce de rèsistance. I absolutely love this charming pin-pendant. It is a fine filigree of silver with a turquoise stone in the center and a small pearl below. It belonged to Harriet 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.
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:
- Amy Cohen at Brotmanblog: A Family Journey
- Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees
- Jeanne Bryan Insalaco at Everyone Has a Story
- Jacqui Kirkman at Leaves on my Family Tree
- True Lewis at Notes to Myself
- Kendra Schmidt at Trek Thru Time
- Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree
- Cathy Meder Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls
- Heather Lisa Dubnick at Little Oak Blog
- Mary Harrell-Sesniak at Genealogy Bank Heirlooms Blog
You can discover more Heirlooms at Ancestors in Aprons, by entering “Heirloom” in the search box on the right.
These are lovely. I have some antique jewelry as well. Some of it is more vintage than antique but it’s still fun.
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.
So glad you have decided to join us by writing about your heirlooms. Thank you for the mention.
Cathy, I’ve written quite a few things about heirlooms as part of family stories, but I’m going to try to do it in a more organized way this year. Thanks for the prompt.
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.
I don’t feel on the ball–I’m quite late to doing this regularly, but I hope to do better this time. Glad you enjoyed.
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.
THat is very sad, Kendra. I have considered having my appraised for insurance purposes, but haven’t done that yet.