Threads of connection
An oval silver locket containing silver gelatin portrait prints of Nina Rouse and Kathleen Rouse. Made in Birmingham, England, 1905. The Hamilton Rouse Hill Trust Collection, courtesy of the Historic Houses Trust, Photograph (c) Jamie North

Close to the heart

Expressions of love and endearment have long been embodied in keepsakes or jewellery worn or held close to the body. A shirt stud in the shape of a serpent in the collection at Vaucluse House represents undying love, a convict token at Hyde Park Barracks demonstrates love in exile and Kenneth McKenzie’s portrait from Meroogal may be an example of unrequited love. A higher love is perhaps expressed through Catherine Joyce’s ornately carved cross brought with her as a young immigrant from Ireland. Familial affection for those who have departed this life, in the form of mourning or memorial jewellery, is represented by brooches and lockets at Rouse Hill House. 

Captain Andrew Buchanan
Convict Love Token
Edwin Stephen Rouse portrait brooch
J.D. Pinnock’s shirt stud
Kenneth McKenzie’s locket
Mourning brooch for John Terry
Pendant cross
Portrait miniature of Richard Rouse
The Rouse sisters’ locket
Thorburn brothers’ locket