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Family Heirlooms and Sentimental Stories

What is a family heirloom? 

A family heirloom is an item of great sentimental significance - a meaningful object handed down the family line through the generations.

Jewellery is the most common family heirloom you are likely to see because of size, easy transportation and of course, a beautiful piece to wear.  It can also be because families like to pass precious gemstones down through the generations.

Other popular family heirlooms include furniture, ornaments, books, military memorabilia, letters and paintings.  Think Antiques Roadshow and you are on the right track.

Much of Walker and Hall’s Vintage collection is sentimental jewellery which has come to the end of a family line.  So, if you are looking for beautiful jewellery with history, see the range of vintage necklaces, brooches, rings and earrings.

When to pass on a treasured piece

Well, of course, that’s up to you as there can be any number of special occasions where the moment matches the sentimental value of an heirloom.  Here are a few instances to get you thinking:

  • Coming of age celebrations (eg: 18, 21st, 50th birthdays)
  • Significant anniversaries
  • Religious or cultural ceremonies
  • Graduation celebration
  • Mother’s Day
  • Engagement present
  • Something special for a bride to wear on her wedding day
  • Birth of a child

Heartfelt family heirloom stories

It’s the stories behind the heirlooms that tug at the heartstrings.  Here are a few extraordinary heirloom stories.

A 200-year-old heirloom recipe book found its way back to the author’s great-great-great-grandson, after being bought at a car boot sale and the buyer keen to track down the original family. The book containing recipes, stocks, tips and nutrition shows a change in handwriting halfway through, typical of the tradition where mothers hand it down to daughters over generations.

Arguably, the most famous family heirloom in modern history is Kate Middleton’s engagement ring that belonged to her mother-in-law, Princess Diana.  Kate has also worn Diana's tiara, bracelet, and earrings. This is a way Diana’s legacy can live on, especially for her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

American artist, Dana McClure, keeps her grandmother’s Chantilly Lace, with other family heirlooms including a gold-framed mirror, jewellery box and display trays on the vintage dresser that belonged to her great Aunt Dorothy.  She says the smells remind her of when she was a young girl playing dress-up at her house.

Do you have a family heirloom that evokes life-long memories?   Or ready to start your family tradition?  We can help you with that!

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