Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Token of Friendship

Rarely do I make something for myself. But when I uncover a treasure that speaks to my heart... and when I know that I will most likely never find another... then I succumb.

This is a necklace that I made from a very antique patch box lid. These little boxes were made in the late 16 and 1700's to hold the decorative beauty marks, or 'patches', that were popular accessories at the time.
These black shapes came in an array of forms, little moons, hearts, stars, and were initially used by the upper class to hide scars or blemishes. 

Their popularity caught on, and soon the fashionable were donning them to highlight a seductive mouth, a flirty eye, or a buxom cleavage. They were worn by both men and women and later were used to represent a person's marital status or political alliance.

The applied marks were made of silk, taffeta, leather, or velvet and were kept in a special little box on a dresser.  Some patches were made with "moleskin" and from this derives the term, "mole", that we use today to describe a beauty mark. 

These little boxes were popular gifts for sweethearts, or, as in this case... a dear friend. This particular piece was probably from an English box made in the late 1700's. 

The absolutely wonderful part about it --- for me--- is that it is just the lid. 

Now this broken piece of history is a necklace that I'll enjoy wearing for many years.

Age Before Beauty 


  1. I LOVE it...I saw it and thought...I NEED that for my friend Kate! I am SO glad you make yourself something lovely once in a while. You deserve it *smile*.

  2. OOOOhhhh, beautiful!!! I wish you joy to wear it, but I am green with envy!!!!!

  3. I really enjoyed reading the history of "moles"...I remember being very intrigued with this fashion trend when I was a child! Good to know and what a lovely piece!

  4. Jennifer,

    I am overjoyed! This is the most amazing and beautiful necklace! It makes my soul sing! Perfect! :)

  5. BEAUTIFUL!!! I love this SO much. I've never seen one of the beauty mark boxes in real life. You must wear this next time you come in to the store!

    When I was a wee lass obsessed with the "Marie Antoinette ear" I used to draw beauty marks on myself with black Sharpie. :)