This is a lovely Valentine or token of love presumably given from one sister to another. The watercolor painting at the top of the first page is eye-catching and lovely with a geometric pattern that resembles a period “Love Knot” and hearts, birds and a woven lock of hair. Below the painting, is a poem to “Elizabeth.” The paper that you see is folded in half and when opened, the poem continues to the second page and is signed “Nancy C. Sampson” (at least that’s the best I can decipher). Although the token does not include the poem’s name, a little research shows that it is titled “To My Sister” and was published in The Shrine, Vol. II published by “A Number of Undergraduates” of Amherst College in 1833. The poem is long and I won’t bore you with reading it all here but I will send a copy downloaded from the 19th century publication with the framed token. If you want to read it now, I’m happy to email it to you.
This loving sister-to-sister token of love is framed in a period molded wood frame that has an old red stain. It is really lovely with it’s simple lines and sets the token off beautifully. The paper is yellowed and has a bit of staining that shows up much more in the photos than in real life. There is a break in the lock of hair. Hair doesn’t disintegrate and there is no evidence of bug having lunched on the token so I can only guess that the thread sewing the hair to the paper must have broken the hair. There is a tear to the upper right corner that is backed by the paper of page two so it isn’t very noticeable. I love everything about this token including the ghost of the hair showing through to page 2 and the stitching for the hair that is on the back of page one. Please see all of the photos so you can see all of the charm.
Please see our Tokens of Love & Friendship page for more information about tokens.