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Thursday, October 8, 2009

From Waxahachie, Texas, to France for $5.00 Round Trip!!!!

I'm doing something I rarely do in my blogs i.e. sharing with you a great story sent to me by one of my customers. This was so good I really thought it deserved to be read by anyone who hunts down and collects jewelry. Thanks Cynthia for sharing this gem with me and my followers. Enjoy!

Sounds like one of those old fashioned "come-ons" doesn't it? Well, read on!

Anyone who knows me, knows I love "antiquing," especially for vintage
jewelry treasures. But for me, purchasing the item, is only the start of
the adventure. In this case, my purchase of $5.00 was for a completely
blackened bracelet. It was so blackened,it was impossible to see what
designs were on the tiny disks comprising the bracelet.

Why on earth buy something covered in the blacks, browns and/or greens,
encrusted by time and neglect? I hope that can I try to restore as many
pieces as possible to a condition where they can carry their beauty down
through further generations. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes not.

Cleaning a piece takes patience, but I feel such a thrill at what might be
under all the gunk.

Three cleanings latter, my little bracelet, had turned into a tiny
treasure. Each of its 10 disks were stamped on one side with a flower,
and the other side with a cathedral, or an image of the Virgin Mary. There
was no writing on any of the disks, but luckily, a small charm matching
the others, but hanging from the bracelet was marked ""Cathedrale de

Thank heavens for the Internet! It makes research sooo much easier. Reims,
is another spelling for Rheims, France. It was on the sight of the
cathedral that Clovis, the French king, was converted to Christianity by
St. Reim. The church built to commemorate that event was built in 496
A.D. When this church burned, a cathedral was built on the site. It is
one of only a triad of churches built in the "High Gothic" or "Classical
French" styles of the 13th Century. Latter, it became the traditional
place where the Kings of France were crowned. The center portion is
dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and dominated by a a stained glass window of
a rose.

My little bracelet was yielding up its secrets! Each of the pictures of
the cathedrals on the bracelet exactly matched the photos on the Internet.
And I felt the presence of the images of the rose and the Virgin Mary
were explained by the center portion of the cathedral itself.

But what of the other flowers? The little bracelet can be worn so either
only the flowers show, or only the cathedral and the images of the Virgin
Mary show. In addition to the rose, I identified a pansy, a sunflower, and
a daffodil. In the "language of flowers" a rose symbolizes love and
purity; a pansy, loving thoughts; a sunflower, pure and lofty thoughts;
and a daffodil, chivalry.

My guess is these flowers were a prayer, the wearer asking through the
symbolism flowers to embody the virtues they represent. I could of course
be totally off the mark, but this somehow feels right.

My little bracelet lies on my desk beside me as I write this. It will
never make anyone gasp! on Antique Road Show. It won't make my fortune.
But it did take me to France and back for $5.00!

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