CHERISHED POSSESSIONS REMIND US OF EVENTS AND INFLUENCES THAT SHAPED OUR LIVES
A child who gathers a special rock on the beach or takes home a small trinket from grandma's may, later in life, save a napkin from a first date or carefully store a sports medal. It is in our nature to treasure things that bring back special moments in our lives, even though some memories may be tinged with sadness.
Nations, like individuals, have their keepsakes: faraway battlefields, ancient forests, important buildings. Look around you.
1. Embroidered memorial. Mrs. Philip Jackman, Canada, ca.1890. Gift of Mr. Lawrence Jackman, Renews, Newfoundland. (N-231)
2. Handkerchief case. France, 1915-18. Sent to Mrs. Simpson by her brother Harold Lamb, a Canadian soldier on the Western Front during World War I, the image shows the "Golden Virgin" of the Albert basilica. The statue was nearly toppled by German artillery fire in January, 1915. Legend had it that the war would end when the statue fell. Some 2,000 shells subsequently hit the church, and the tower was finally destroyed by British guns in March, 1918. The war ended the following November. Gift of Mrs. Mary Simpson, Ottawa. (986.33.2)
3. Pewter jug. France, 16th century. Brought to Canada in the 1850s by Pierre Jacques Darey, a Huguenot, the jug and two salvers were treasured in his family as vestiges of their family's life before the St. Bartholomew's Massacre (24 August 1572) and the subsequent persecution of Protestants in France. Gift of Miss Jean Matheson, Ottawa. (D-2304)