Posts tagged ‘Antique’

May 29, 2011

What I love… Skeleton keys

When I was eight or nine years old, I came across a skeleton key at my grandparents house. I immediately fell in love with it. It was a foreign object to me from a time long ago that I had no comprehension of. It’s mystery of what it went to and where it came from had me consumed for days, years. My imagination lead me to a box full of treasures – necklaces, rings, letters from a lover lost at war or long forgotten, or even old black and white pictures of lost family who were awaiting a happy reunion that may or may neverĀ  have happened – I hoped it did though. After move after move, I lost that key somewhere along the way. I still wish I had it, maybe it will randomly turn up in a box somewhere, when I least expect it. I know it probably disappeared in the abyss of my nomadic childhood and adulthood.

Today, I happened across an antique jewelry store while walking on NW 23rd in Portland, Gilt. As I walked in, I remembered I had been there before a couple years ago when I first moved to Portland. The antique jewelry, while well out of my personal price range, drew me in as a window shopper. There it was, the first object I saw, a necklace with a skeleton key hanging from it. I immediately knew that I was going to buy it. It was simple and yet alluring and brought back many nostalgic memories from my childhood. I still roamed the store to see if there was anything else that might catch my eye. A couple was eying the antique wedding rings for their pending nuptials, a mother was buying her daughter a gorgeous circa 1940 ring, a few other people roamed the store as I did. Out of all the jewelry there I could have fallen in love with, I still returned and bought that necklace. It was probably one of the most inexpensive items in that entire store, but it’s the one item I really wanted. When the saleswoman asked me if I needed a box, I stated ever so proudly, “No, thank you, I’m going to wear it”. Even before she had finished charging my card, I already had it around my neck. My new favorite piece of jewelry, my little indulgence. Even now I’m determined to try and figure out what it went to, although the writing might be worn off, some of it is still legible and it will be an adventure, who knows where it might lead to.

Even now, I’m already onto my next project, which involves collecting various skeleton keys. If anyone knows of a great place to find them in various sizes and shapes, let me know.

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