Treasures: A Key Catch




On my recent trip to Spokane, my grandmother gave me a few treasures.  Among them was this key catch.  It was made by my great grandmother Estelle.  Originally it had a zipper and lining.  Inside there were small hooks for each key.  She would unzip the key catch and pull out the key she needed to use and then return the key and re-zip.

The photos don’t really do it justice.  The colors are more vibrant and the beads have more sparkle than you can see in the photos.  I’m quite impressed with the quality of workmanship.  I have done some hand sewing in my day and my back/inside never looks this neat and orderly.  There are very few knots and the stitches are so uniform.  She used it regularly for a long time and yet it is in great shape.  Well of course with the notable removal of the zipper and lining, which was probably done by my grandmother.  As an added bonus, it feels pretty awesome to run your fingers over the beads.

I was very young when my great grandma died.  At the time of her death I was her only great grandchild.  She was such an important part of my mom’s growing up that I feel a strong connection to her.  Having this key catch that she made and used makes that connection even more tangible.  I’m happy to be the current steward of this family treasure.

What treasures do you have that make you feel connected to your ancestors?

10 thoughts on “Treasures: A Key Catch”

  1. That is a lovely example of your Great Grandmother’s beadwork. Do you plan to have a new lining put in?

    My treasures are all from my Mom. She gathered together many small figurines and ornaments for her curio cabinet. In addition to that I have 8 of her Monsieur Girard dolls from the late 1970s. They have cloth bodies, bisque (I think) hands, feet and faces. They’re beautifully dressed and have a wind-up music box inside. There is also a reproduction Bye-low Baby doll. Then a complete set of “My Book House” story collections edited by Olive Beaupre Miller. I am connected to the world of a 1930s childhood through the books and dolls. A time where imagination was really used to bring the toys to life. It is magical in the interaction that can arise. Very different from interacting with a digital toy or game.

    1. Hi EmilyAnn. I don’t have any plans to add a zipper and lining. right now it is sitting on a shelf in the main room of my home.

      It sounds like you are blessed to care for some wonderful treasures. I think it’s so important to have objects that tie us to our ancestors. Your mother must have really loved dolls. My grandmother loved porcelain dolls. She had 17 grandchildren and slowly collected 17 porcelain dolls that each reminded her of us. When she died we were each given our doll. Mine has my name written on the box in her handwriting. I’m not a big doll person but I love that doll. 🙂

  2. What beautiful beading, and what a special treasure for your grandma to pass on to you. “Teach your children well”…so they can carry on the tradition. As far as answering your question, I have few photos of most of my ancestors, let alone anything passed down that could be considered a treasure, except memories. I have lots of fond memories, especially from the maternal side. The paternal side, however, is a whole different story.

  3. Lovely. I treasure the objects that tie me to long-gone relatives especially the few objects I have from my German grandmother. Much of their possesions were lost in the war, so what has survived is even more precious.

  4. Most of my family’s heirlooms are furniture. In my childhood home kitchen is the hoosier cabinet that my great grandparents had in their kitchen. That great grandmother is notorious for baking up all kind of desserts – so my mother still keeps her cakes, cookies, and pies in there. It’s the first place I walk to after hugging my parents hello!

    1. I love that your mom is carrying on the tradition of the original furniture owner. I love traditions that are natural like that. I’m sure you have many happy memories associated with the goodies in the cabinet.

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