Engraved Ring Box

A silver and enamel ring box, with floral design, made by Lacloche Freres Paris Londres, Spanish-French jewelers who opened in circa 1900 in Paris. The box was given to my maternal great aunt, Rosa De Pedis (“Zia Rosa”), who lived in Rome. The date engraved on the inside lid, 5 Settembre 1915, marks her 23rd birthday and the box (as well as the ring that was once inside) was given to her by her then-fiancé, Alfredo, who was a jeweler. Sadly, shortly after that date Alfredo left to fight in World War I and was killed. I was given the box as a teenager after Zia Rosa, who never married, died. The ring that the box once held was already missing when I received the box. The empty box and the family story behind it was an early lesson for me in the realities of a war that otherwise felt so distant and of a romance that could never be.

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