A Valentine’s Day Mystery

It's Valentine's Day and here on Culture On Call we've taken a look into our collections for the most seasonal of items. In doing so, we came across a Valentine's Day mystery!

The sending of cards and love letters is a long running tradition on Valentine’s Day. But what about photo albums? An album in the collections we care for at Hampshire Cultural Trust was given to Mabel by Ernest on Valentine’s Day 1904 - nearly 100 years ago! The idea that the album was for keeping images of loved ones in was taken forward, presumably by Mabel when she wrote inside the album:

The verse in the album; transcription below
Within this book your eye may trace the well known smile on friendships face. Here may your wandering eyes behold the lov'd of youth the friends of old; And as you gaze with tearful eye sweet memories of the years gone by will come again with magic power to charm the evenings pensive hour. Some in this book have passed the bourne from whence no travellers return; some through the world yet doomed to roam as pilgrims from their native home are here by natures powers enshrined as loved memorials to the mind, till all shall reach that happy shore where friends and kindred part no more.

August 25 1905 M.W.

Street markets up and down the country have stalls selling old photographs and albums of people that cannot be identified, the connection to the family long lost. Unfortunately, this is the case with this album, for we do not know who Mabel or Ernest were and, although the album holds ten photographs, none of them are labelled, so we can only make guesses as to who they are. Some of the photographs are from a Nottingham photographic studio, so maybe Mabel and her family lived there. If so, how did they end up in a Hampshire museum collection?

Could this be a portrait of Mabel?

To find out more about the collections we care for, please visit the link below.

Online collections | Hampshire Cultural Trust Online Collections

This article was written by:
Author image

Ross Turle

I am the Curatorial Liaison Manager for Hampshire Cultural Trust. I help with the care of the collections held and enable access to the collections so as they can researched and exhibited.
You've successfully subscribed to Culture on Call
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Culture on Call
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.