This is the kind of thing you only hear about in movies and novels…
Antiques dealers see a lot of really cool, historical stuff while carrying out their work. But we bet they don’t often find things that wrench at the heart strings like this story does. At an antiques fair in Somerset, England late last year, one dealer purchased an antique set of drawers. One of the drawers was locked, and when he got in unlocked later, he found a mysterious envelope inside.
Inside the envelope was a latter dating from March 1916 – right in the middle of the First World War – and a beautiful antique ring. The letter was addressed to a woman named Eileen from a man named George, and this is what it said:
“My Dear Eileen. I am sorry to leave you so suddenly. I have enclosed my grandmother’s ring as a promise that I will come back and one day marry you. My deepest apologies that I cannot give you this letter and ring in person, but I am being deployed imminently. I am sure my mother will make sure this letter finds its way to you as soon as possible. Please do wear the ring, and every time you look at it, think of me. I shall miss you dearly, my beloved. Yours eternally, George.”
Don’t worry if you have a lump in your throat after reading that… we do too! The dealer and the wider antiques community have struggled to find out any more information about the mysterious ring and letter, but would very much like to return it to its rightful owner (whoever that may be).
The only problem is that there’s no way of knowing what happened after this letter was written. Did George’s mother give the ring to Eileen? Did Eileen not accept the proposal? Did George tragically die in the war, and Eileen could never bear to wear the ring or look at the letter again? Did he come back after all and they lived a happy life together, and the ring was kept safely as an heirloom? We really, really want to know!
The ring itself is an interesting art deco-style design, A diamond shaped top is engraved with a geometric design, and the band is split and also features similar engraved patterns. Even if the rightful owner is never found and the full story is never discovered, we hope this ring finds the loving home it deserves. Here’s to George and Eileen.