A mourning locket from the 1700s has recently been discovered by a restorer of antique furniture in Hollywood. It is believed that the item has been hidden between the drawer of the antique cabinet and sidewall for decades.
According to the restorer, Robert Sarco, he often discovers valuable items which have been lost for many years. He cites a discovery of diamond rings which were in a bag and taped to the underside of an antique dining table . The owner had been searching for the lost jewellery for 25 years.
Inside the cobalt locket, a braid of Gen. John McPherson’s hair was discovered along with an inscription, which read:
“Forgive the wish that would have kept you here.”
The locket is thought to have been used as a mourning keepsake. If a loved one was leaving to go on an adventure that was considered to be dangerous, some of their hair would be kept to hope for their safe return. If the loved one died, the locket became a keepsake to be held throughout mourning.
An inscription in the locket refers to John McPherson as ‘the immigrant McPherson’. He died at sea during a storm in 1806.
Although it is unlikely that a valuable item will be discovered in many 18th century cabinets, a selection can be found in the UK, including antique cabinets in Lancashire . A cabinet may also be used to display a collection of lockets and other valuable keepsakes.
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