This is a commission like no other, and one of those rare pieces that even without knowing the story behind it, you just feel you know the immense love the couple it commemorates must have shared. An incredibly moving and mournful piece, this locket was created closely with Verity, our client’s, wishes – with multiple personal design touches of her and her late husband’s life together. She sent us this immensely moving and mournful letter following it’s collection:
“My darling husband Frank and I had visited Bath in 1988 to choose our wedding rings from Nicholas. Since we visited again, towards the end of April this year, finally to have his wedding ring engraved, tragedy has struck in the most terrible way. Within two weeks my wonderful Frank was dead. His wedding ring, bought from Nicholas thirty years before, was still with Nicholas, being engraved with the beautiful loving words Frank had chosen. We had arranged to return to Bath to collect his ring in June, but instead it was sent to me. He would never again wear it in life. Instead, I put it on his finger in his coffin. I wear it on a chain round my neck now, in grief for his loss. The very beautiful eternity ring Frank chose for me in April is constantly on my finger.
He was my life. He was my reason to live, my only sunshine, my best friend, companion and support. Frank’s funeral was on 1st June, my birthday on 13th, and Frank’s birthday was on 30th June. On his birthday, I brought his ashes home, to be with me until I die. June was always our happy month.
I formed the idea of asking Nicholas to make a container for me to contain some of Frank’s ashes. I talked through my thoughts and ideas with Nicholas, and he suggested a locket instead, which would hold some of the ashes. I asked for it to contain three photographs of Frank, and I needed to be able to have some of my words engraved inside and on the back. Nicholas was so kind, so understanding and so patient. He designed the most beautiful locket, fulfilling all and more than I could have wished for. In September, I returned to Bath to collect the locket, taking some of Frank’s ashes with me, and was able to put them in the locket myself. It was a painful thing to do. I wear the locket with love, with sorrow, and with pride in my wonderful Frank.”
The locket, created in our Bath workshop, is engraved on the front with Verity and Frank’s initials along with a floral border of bluebells and primroses – Frank’s favourite flowers. Inside are an intricate array of hinged windows enclosing various pictures featuring Frank and a small portion of his ashes. The back is engraved with this incredibly moving paragraph:
“My beautiful Frank. You were my light, my life, my best friend, my rock. I will love and miss you forever. My heart died with you. Thank you for loving me, Your Verity”.
They are and will be together forever, as these incredibly special and poignant ‘momento mori’ pieces illustrate: An engraved wedding ring, a memorial locket, and a bracelet commemorating Frank’s life.
How lucky they are to have loved, and continue to love, so very, very dearly. We feel incredibly grateful to Verity for her trust in allowing us to be some small part of her grieving process. We hope that she will find some peace following the creative process of these pieces, in remembering Frank and all he was, and some comfort in this locket, keeping Frank close to her heart for the rest of her days.