Helen Hales



"This carved ivory object is about two inches tall and was used to seal envelopes with wax. A hand grasping a baton was a common style for desk seals in the early 19th century. It belonged to my ancestor Hannah Bridgwater, born in Staffordshire in the 1820s. 'Hannah' is engraved in mirror-image on the face of the seal. I love the idea that it was handled by a person connected to me by two centuries. Passed down through the generations, it reminds me of my roots, my identity and the importance of family. If my house was on fire, it would be one of the few things I'd grab."

Helen Hales, Aylesbury