Mystery locket

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Huncamunca, May 7, 2013.

  1. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    Locket.jpg

    This locket (click on thumbnail for enlarged view) measures about 15 mm in diameter. It appears to contain a slice of cable, perhaps a telegraph cable for on the reverse of the locket are engraved the words 'Red Sea Telh' (with a superscript 'h').

    It was given to me by my grandmother. I believe she had been given it by an ex-boyfriend.

    Can anyone shed any light on what it might be?
     
  2. Mutters

    Mutters I am not bossy, I just have better ideas.

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    Any ideas on a time frame please Huncamunca?
     
  3. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    No clues, I'm afraid, Mutters. My grandmother was born in 1903, so the locket can't have come into our family until maybe the 1920s . . . but I would guess that the locket itself is 19th century.

    The case may be silver: I'm not sure. I can't see a hallmark. If there is a way to open the locket I haven't discovered it yet.
     
  4. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    If you visit the following website, you will see a picture exactly like one side of the locket that you have uploaded. The years of 1859 and 1860 are mentioned. :)

    atlantic-cable.com/Cables/1859SuezKarachi/
     
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  5. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    Thank you, Jan, that site makes most interesting reading!

    The cable in the picture is a lot fatter than mine, but the description in the text sounds just like mine, with a core of seven copper wires (one right in the middle, with six around it), then a blackish layer which is presumably the gutta percha, and then 18 'armouring wires of best selected charcoal iron'.

    I wonder if they had spare cable which was sold off as souvenirs? If only I had asked Granny more about the locket when she gave it to me.

    Thank you again.
     
  6. Mutters

    Mutters I am not bossy, I just have better ideas.

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    The Atlantic Cable Co seemed to have a lot to do with laying cables in the Red Sea.
    Here is a link to a non-commercial site and the man is asking:

    He may have more information on the locket for you.
    http://www.
    atlantic-cable.com/
     
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  7. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    It would appear that they did have 'spare' cable take a look at
    66.147.244.104/~amerifl5/americanstories/2012/04/10/transatlantic-telegraph-cable-souvenir/

    Best wishes
    Ann
     
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  8. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    Thank you Ann, that's a fascinating find! (And welcome, if I haven't already said so! It is lovely to see you again.)

    Belated thanks to Mutters too: sorry I didn't spot your reply earlier. I will contact that chap to see if he can tell me any more.
     

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