A Stolen Masterpiece: My Great Grandmother’s Bracelet

You may have noticed that Museum Minute was a few posts short last week. While it’s true I was on vacation with my family, I had every intention of compiling my weekly What Happened in Museums This Week post on Friday until I received a phone call no one wants to receive on vacation –

My apartment had been burglarized.

I spent most of my afternoon on the phone taking care of as much as possible, 600+ miles from home, while dealing with every worst case scenario that popped into my head.

As my husband and I got closer to home my anxiety grew. I knew after speaking to the police several “big ticket” items were stolen. But those weren’t the things I was most worried about.

I, like most museums, store some of my most valuable possessions out of sight. One item in particular is a bracelet my great grandmother gave to me. It’s a one-of-a-kind and cannot be replaced.

It was one of the items taken in the burglary.

So, why am I telling you all of this? Because I’m looking for your help. If you’ve ever attended any of my talks at conferences or workshops, or are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I often speak about the power of social media. Its reach. Its voice. Its power. While I understand burglaries take place every day and many items aren’t recovered, this bracelet is my most prized possession; it’s my “masterpiece”. No one will ever quite understand its provenance like I do. It is a part of who I am. This is a piece worthy of social media outreach. This is important enough to me to ask for your help.

Below is a description of the bracelet, its box, and the note inside. If you happen to visit a pawn shop or know someone who works for a Cash for Gold-type business in the Columbus area, greater Central Ohio, or bordering states for that matter, please keep this post in mind. Share this post. Help me spread the word. With your help, I may be able to locate the most important piece of my “collection”.

This bracelet is so much more than a piece of jewelry. It was a gift given to my great-grandmother by my grandparents after my father was born – a bracelet she later gave me; it’s a piece of my great grandmother; and with it, a piece of my heart.

Description: It is a yellow gold bracelet – a thick, linked almost a braided looking chain (I’m not sure of the right terminology) with three charms. Each of the charms have my grandma’s, grandpa’s, and dad’s names and their birthdates on them: Shirley (Nov. 18), Ben (April 23), and William (May 6).

It was in a long, white jewelry box with gold trim at the opening. A small note from my great grandmother was inside. The handwriting may be difficult to read. It doesn’t say anything sentimental, simply what the bracelet is and that she wanted me to have it. But her hands were so arthritic by the time she gave it to me I know she struggled and spent a lot of time writing those few short sentences.

Thank you for taking the time to read this unorthodox post and sharing it throughout your own social networks. It is certainly a stretch from the norm but I hope by leveraging the power of social media, I will be able to retrieve something I hold so dear.

In closing, I would like to say a special thank you to the Columbus Police Department. Your promptness & kindness during this difficult time is appreciated.

6 thoughts on “A Stolen Masterpiece: My Great Grandmother’s Bracelet

  1. Jamie,
    What a beautifully written post. I can only imagine how terrible you must feel and sincerely hope that your masterpiece is recovered.
    xoxo from across the pond

    • Thanks, Franzi! I received an encouraging email from a fellow museum blogger earlier today that said, “the really important, really special things have a way of finding their way back to us eventually.” I’m crossing my fingers (and my toes) that my great grandmother’s bracelet finds its way back to me. And thank you for sharing this post with your networks. I really appreciate it!

    • Hi, Paul! Thanks for sharing this post. I have been combing through photos but haven’t found one yet (my parents are looking, too). In the meantime, I have asked my husband to sketch something for me (perks of being married to a designer).

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