photograph showcase, treasures

Photograph Showcase: The Anniversary Pendant


DUVAL, Deane, wearing the aniversary pendant
Deane Alice Duval, wearing her mother’s anniversary pendant

When you are the daughter of photographers, you have your picture taken a lot.

Like, a lot, a lot.

So when you are the great-granddaughter of photographers, you have seen a lot of photos of your Grandma.

Like, a lot, a lot.

So sometimes, the photos kind of blur together in your memory.  And sometimes, bits of stories and treasures in those photos go unnoticed.

And then, every now and again, a detail pops out of a photo and smacks you in the face for the first time.  The detail was always there, but it went completely unnoticed until one day, it didn’t.

I scanned this photo.  A long time ago.  But I scanned it.  That means I looked at it at least three times.  Once before I put it on the glass, once on my computer screen, and then again when I pulled it off the glass.  But who knows how many other times I looked at it?  I don’t.

But just last night when I was flipping through images to choose a photo to share, a detail in this photo jumped right out at me for the first time.


DUVAL, Deane, wearing the aniversary pendant - crop

The pendant my Grandma is wearing didn’t belong to her.  I don’t know if it ever did.

There have been three owners that I know of.

First – my great-grandmother, Hope Estelle Maffit.  According to my mother, it was an anniversary gift given on the first anniversary of her marriage to my great-grandfather in 1931.

Second – my mother.  I remember her wearing it a lot when I was growing up.  Only ever on Sundays, but still, she wore it a lot.  I frequently wore my mother’s jewelry but I don’t remember ever wearing this.  I loved it, but I never wore it.  Maybe I wasn’t allowed.  I don’t remember.

Third – me.  A surprise.  Last year when I went for a visit, my mom gave it to me.  I didn’t know what to say.  I don’t think I ever told her how much I loved it.  But of all the pieces of jewelry she owned, it was the one item I would have chosen for myself after she is gone.

Treasure doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about it.

But finding it in this photograph last night – there just aren’t words to explain how this photograph struck me.

Four generation of women.

One pendant.  A gift to symbolize love.  A love that is one-eighth of my story.


A treasure, to be sure.


23 thoughts on “Photograph Showcase: The Anniversary Pendant”

  1. Wow. That one hit me right in the heart and gave me goosebumps. Indeed, what a treasure. I think we need to see posts of the others wearing it—including you! 🙂 And what an absolutely gorgeous woman your grandmother was—such an amazing photograph. Your great-grandmother had quite an eye.

    1. Thank you, Amy! I really should photograph it up close and share it. I’ll try to fit that in soon. I think this photo of my Grandma is especially lovely. It really captures something in her eyes. You got it exactly right, my great-grandma really did have quite an eye for photography. 🙂

  2. Amberly, you have such a treasure in this photo and now this locket! Very touching to know that your mother wants you to have this special necklace and be the keeper of its special memories.

  3. Hi Amberly, I don’t remember this pendant. It is cool that it has been loved so long by our family. After Grandma Estelle passed away, Grandpa let me go through her jewelry and pick out a few pieces. One of them that I choose was a little mouse pin that had real fur on it. Grandpa told me her put the fur on it and it was an anniversary gift. I don’t remember ever seeing Grandma wearing it, but none the less, it is a special piece. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Heather! I feel that same way. Grandma Duval had a lot pins. My mom has several. I love to look at them. She has one in particular that I love to hold because Grandma is wearing it in one of my favorite photos of her. I’m glad that you have one to love. <3

  4. Hi Amberly. How about a photo with you wearing the pendant? Maybe a close-up of it? It looks like there are some stones or a tiny diamond on the pendant. I’d love to get a closer look. How wonderful you finally saw the detail in your Grandmother’s photo. She was very pretty.

    1. Thank you, EmilyAnn! I definitely need to take a few photos of the pendant and share those. There is one very small diamond in the center and then some beautiful filigreed gold around the edges. I think this photo of my Grandma is especially lovely. Her eyes are so beautiful. They were a very bright, very light blue. Her brother’s eyes are the same color. I will miss those piercing blue eyes. No one got them.

  5. What an amazing discovery! How wonderful to find this photo to fill in the gap, so to speak. And you look so much like her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So happy for you to have this beautiful treasure.

  6. That sure is a wonderful treasure. I somehow managed to keep my maternal grandmother’s lavalier pendant with chain and my maternal great-grandmother’s wedding ring. Now it’s deciding which cousin will eventually receive these heirlooms.

    1. Thank you! I had to google lavalier pendant. Wow! There are some really beautiful examples. How special that you have her pendant and wedding ring. Good luck deciding. That can be hard to sort out. My aunt is going through that right now. She does not have children but has quite a few family treasures. Good luck. <3

  7. What a wonderful, wonderful treasure! I had a very similar experience with my great grandmother’s bracelet that she received at her high school graduation in 1890. She gave it to my grandmother and then she held on to it with instructions that when she died it was to be given to me. And while I still have it, both of my daughters wore it on their wedding day. So a very, very special treasure. You can read about it here.

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