Lockets, pendants that open and contain pictures or other memorable treasures, have been around for a very long time. Lockets were big in the Victorian Age of Britain and made a major comeback during World War I, when lovers and daughters wore lockets with their soldier’s picture attached to the inside and a name or initials inscribed on the outside. We’ve all seen or read A Little Princess and we’ve all cried our eyes out when she finally sees her dispatched father, whose picture she’s been wearing around her neck (okay, maybe just me). Regardless, we all do know, either from the book, or just from basic knowledge how important name lockets were in the 1910s.

The National Museum of Australia holds an exceptional artifact from 1917 that comes with a very special and touching story. This artifact is an inscribed monogram locket, made in 1917 and worn by the sweetheart of Les Darcy, a famous Australian boxer, who fell ill and eventually passed away from complications during surgery. Legend has it that Winnie O’Sullivan held on to this locket until the day she passed in 1974. The locket is inscribed with “WOS”, O’Sullivan’s monogram, and contains a picture of Darcy and a lock of his hair (very popular at the time). She had kept this name locket a secret and it wasn’t exposed to the public until her heirs found it among her possessions following her death. She had married someone else after Darcy died, so she was forced to keep the memories of her first love in a personal, quiet place.

I think this is a beautiful love story, only completely demonstrated by this lovely piece of name jewelry. I don’t know if the ‘lock of hair custom’ needs a comeback, but it would be nice to hear more of these true, pure love stories today.