Emblem 128

Information and materials

“Who were you?”  Initialled answers.

These hand-drawn pencil monographs of nineteenth century people, possibly made for the crest on the family silver, are enigmatic.  The letters remind me of a play by Dodie Smith, “Dear Octopus”, in which there is no escape from relationships.  Novelists of course weave their own fantasies – and realities.  The monograph artist had to show pride and confidence in his labyrinthine statement.  Gradually over the generations the crest would be smoothed from sight by polishing.  I found these initials in an old box.  They could be German.  One of the reasons for engraving silver was to make it unusable in someone else’s house, or to be claimed if stolen.  Wedding-gift silver would be entwined with the initials of bride and groom and would become heirlooms.  The most entwined marriage initials are possibly Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. They are everywhere.