French Circa 1880-1900 Silver Plated Mary Aide Mémoire Note Book

This lovely, antique French aide mémoire or note book dates to circa 1880-1900. It is made of silver plated brass and comes with a pencil. Unlike many of these items where pages have been left blank this one tells a story about a real person who wrote down her thoughts. It would originally have been worn on a housewife's chatelaine belt but nowadays it could be worn as a pendant

The aide mémoire measures 2 and 6/16" (6cms) long, without the ring, and 1½" (3.8cms) across, including the pencil holder.

On the front is a beautiful repoussé design of swirling curlicues and flower garlands. In the centre is a roundel with a version of the `Miraculous Medal'. It shows the Virgin Mary with powerful rays emanating from her hands. Around it is the inscription `Marie Conçue Sans Peché Priez Pour Nous' – `Mary Conceived Without sin Pray for Us. On the reverse is a splendid design similar to the front but with flowers in the centre.

The front is hinged and there is a little ring at the top to hang from a chatelaine belt. At the side are two pencil holders and a pencil.

How this French piece ended up in the hands of an English woman we will never know. However her entries begin in 1924. There are five pages of religious writings and then a poignant entry on 15 November 1946 `Farewell my Beloved Jack'. The entries continue with a pilgrimage to Rome in 1950. They end in 1957 with the death of her sister, Chrissie.

This wonderful piece does show some signs of wear to the plating around the central roundel. I suspect it was frequently touched . Otherwise the front and back just show the natural patina of age.

It will arrive in a gift box.

Item ID: 200

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Sue Clark, Watford, UK   

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