Last weekend, I took a trip to visit my Mom in Katonah, NY. Every time I see my Mom, I interrogate her with questions about the family. Frankly, she should be pretty sick of me by now, but she keeps on entertaining me with a smile.
So I decided to ask her about some jewelry I remembered belonging to my Grandmother, Isabelle Lewis. I was thrilled to find that there were many pieces of family jewelry in my Moms possession that I had never seen or heard of. So I asked her for permission to have some of the items appraised. The story behind all the items will remain for another post on another day.
So while I was at the Jewelers, we had an in-depth conversation about the engraving script used to display the initials on the many of the pieces.
The assistant told me that in those days, the letter that represents the last name is usually found in the middle of the initials. That explains the reason I was having such difficulty reading some of the initials. But on this particular one, it did not make much sense.
Now I hadn’t taken a close look at any of these items before brining them to the jeweler, so imagine my surprise when the one piece that confused me the most, a locket, contained the pristine pictures of two people. One male and one female. Now I really strained to read the script initials to no avail. The locket did have one clue though. On the back it read, December 25, 1917.
As I was leaving the store, I remembered that there was a 3×5 card with some notes on it in one of the jewelry bags that I had left in the car. So I rushed outside.
To my delight, there were actually two index cards, full of details of my Grandmother’s jewelry collection. The card named whom each piece belonged to in the family and provided a general description of the item. I quickly scanned the cards. On the second card, I found:
WOW! I’m looking at parents of my Grandfather, Harry Lewis. Thomas F. Lewis (1857-1924) and his wife Catherine Hanley Lewis (1862-1952) gave this locket to Harry when he was 25 years old (in 1917) as a Christmas gift. This is the first picture I have ever seen of Thomas. And I have only one other picture of Catherine, which was in her later years.
So the moral of this story… You just never know when you are suddenly going to find something you never expected to see. Check those lockets out!
Thomas F. Lewis and Catherine Hanley Lewis
Click image to enlarge