Restoring a Locket That’s Been Passed Down for 4 Generations
Written by Annabelle
March 14, 2019
Alright- as jewelers, we can go on and on about how much we love sentimental pieces, but it's really the stories that make up the focal point of our work. This time was no exception; a client reached out to us about fixing the broken hinge of his antique locket just in time for his daughter's wedding in May. Once we fixed it up, he provided us with an amazing story that left us speechless.
Mark, the client, was unsure how to even begin repairing the broken locket. The item was over a century old, he wasn't sure what the metal even was, and the photographs inside the locket were extremely old and brittle. The hinge was broken after decades of opening and closing, and the interior had patches of tarnish and grime. He contacted us to see if we were able to polish and clean the piece up without any damage, as well as repairing the hinge so it would function properly again.
Once Mark sent in the broken locket to us and we received it in our facility, our jewelers took a good long look at the piece. Much to their delight, the locket's hinge structure wasn't completely missing; most of it was still intact, and it needed a new component for the interior. With a deft hand, the jeweler was able to guide and fix the component within the hinge, threading it so that the two pieces were connected and functioning.
After the main work was complete, we moved the piece to polishing and cleaning. The pictures made the process slightly complicated, but most of the grime actually came off during polishing to reveal a beautiful gold-fill surface below. Polishing residue was gently hand-cleaned off, as putting the locket into an ultrasonic cleaning tank would have ruined the photographs.
Finished with the repair, we packed up the locket and sent it back to a delighted Mark, who was kind enough to share the incredible history of the locket.
“While we are not sure exactly how old the locket is, I do know that it was originally my Great Grandmother's. Her name was Annie Walters Kantner (born 1879 and died 1957) she married Asbury Kantner (born 1875 and died 1945).They had two children. Agnes (my grandmother ) and William. Agnes was born in 1903 and her brother a few years later. These are the pictures that appear in the locket. I would date them to around 1910. Agnes had two daughters. Her oldest was named Annie (my mother). Since they all shared the letter “A”. the locket was passed down to each over the ages. I am 54 years old and my mother passed away nearly 30 years ago. The locket has been broken as long as I can remember. I have kept it in a desk drawer all these years. This May our daughter Annie is getting married and I wanted to have the locket repaired to give to her on her wedding day. I have seen the picture and cannot wait to get the locket and give it to her so she can have something from her great great grandmother on her special day! I am including a picture of the original Annie, Asbury and a picture of Annie Hecht and her groom to be Chad Barrick.”