What is Provenance?

What is provenance?

According to the Oxford University Press dictionary: the place of origin or earliest known history of something.

Why when we talk about jewelry is the provenance or history so important?

If jewelry could talk it would tell you the stories of when and why it was gifted.......What was the occasion, was it a birthday; an illicit affair; or was it the celebration of a milestone or it may even be a memento from an experience.

Jewelry that has belonged to someone famous, one assumes always makes the best stories but the reality is that any piece of jewelry can have an equally interesting tale.

It is really so important to list the histories and the stories of one’s jewels, so the eventual recipients can value the items more than their intrinsic value but for the true emotional value they represent.

Recently I was very fortunate to come across this amazing piece.

Now why am I valuing this piece so highly?

It is in its original fitted box. The box indicates it was from Watchmaker, Jeweler and Optician

FH Hewertson 35 St. Nicholas St Lancaster and 60 QUEEN ST MORECAMBE.

This then opens up the fascinating topic that watchmakers and Jewelers were also the local optician.

But most amazingly there is a note indicating to whom it is given:

I give this brooch to Emily to ware in remembrance of her mother Jan 10th 1894

So this starts a story, we feel attached to Emily who would have cherished this ‘valuable’ memento of her mother; But there is more upon opening the note

This Broach was given to me by my Dear Brother on My 20th Birthday April 21st 1865 Jemmima Towers 3/- price

Now we have a connection to Emily’s mother Jemmima who had passed away at the age of 48.

The brooch is in excellent condition, the metal has been bloomed and the texture shows no visible wear.

The hallmarks are very clear indicating when it was made and where as well as the fact that it is nine carat gold.

So in conclusion look at how we have managed to bond with this brooch, not only is it a pretty Victorian bar brooch but we know why and where it was gifted and how much it cost.

If there is a story to tell about a piece of jewelry please include it in its packaging so that whomever receives the piece can value and love the piece the same way you have.