Grandma Kephart's Tin Box

I think it's time for another addition to my Tuesday Treasures feature here at Ancestry Chick. I wasn't sure what family heirloom I should pick this week, but I finally settled on this simple little tin box that belonged to my maternal great grandmother, Della Mae (Swinford) Kephart.

Grandma Kephart's Tin Box - Ancestry Chick

My mom gave me this little tin candy box a few years before she passed away. She had gotten into the habit of bringing me family things when she would come and visit from Texas. She always told me she had some new goodies for me, and she gave them to me because she knew how much these kinds of things mean to me. Mom and I both spent many years doing genealogy, and also just treasuring family things that had sentimental value. So, anytime she would bring me something, I was more than thrilled to get it.

Grandma Kephart's Tin Box - Ancestry Chick

This box is very simple--definitely not fancy at all. There appears to be some pieces missing, judging by the small slits on the lid. I'm guessing that some sort of other pieces fit into those slots at some point. But when Mom gave this to me, this is exactly how it looked, as it still does today. You can see butterflies though, on the top and front of the box. I don't think it has a date on it anywhere, so I'm not sure how old it is. My guess would be 1930's or 1940's. The box had belonged to Grandma Kephart, whom my mom had been very, very close to. After Grandma passed away, this was one of the mementos that Mom got to keep from Grandma's house.

Grandma Kephart's Tin Box - Ancestry Chick

I Googled the name of this tin box just now and actually found one just like it on Ebay. It appears to have been a chocolate box. Guess I should have looked at mine a little more says that on the bottom. LOL. Anyhoots, it's a cute little tin, but what makes it awesome is what's inside. There is some hand-embroidered silk, some lace that Grandma Kephart made (more than one piece), and lots of little hankies and odds and ends. Hand-tatted lace and embroidered silk such as these that Grandma made are fast becoming lost arts. People just don't do this kind of thing as much anymore. Needlework has never been my forte; I'd much rather draw or paint. But back in Grandma's day, this was the kind of thing those ladies did. She was very skilled, in my opinion. The detail on that silk is phenomenal. 

The notes there in the box were written by my mom. Most of the time when she brought me something that belonged to someone in the family, she would include notes so that I'd know who they belonged to. I've taken a cue from her and started labeling things like that too. That way my daughter and grandkids won't have to guess which family things belonged to which ancestor, after I'm gone.

There really is so much more in this box than just some hankies and bits of silk and lace. There are pieces of a life...a testament to the artistry and craftsmanship of a woman who put her heart and soul into everything she created. I can picture her sitting in a chair embroidering that silk...her fingers working the needle, with a cup of tea on the table beside her. But I wonder if she ever imagined how much her great granddaughter would think of her and her handmade treasures.

Thanks, Grandma.