Favourite Vintage, Part One.
I collect World War 2 sweetheart jewelry – pins, bracelets, and necklaces that servicemen and their loved ones wore as tokens of remembrance while far apart. Nowadays wartime ephemera is a hot commodity; sashes, pillowcases, trench art and uniforms are traded at high prices. You can still find mint NOS sweetheart necklaces from WW2 on ebay in their original boxes, but I like to collect the things with a little personal attachment. I hate to watch Pawn Stars on the History channel, for example, and see a person sell their grandfather’s A-2 flight jacket with art and patches. Worse, they don’t even know the stories behind it. But I digress.
I don’t know the facts behind my favourite sweetheart bracelet, but it offers intriguing little tidbits of information:
1.) I know it’s USAAC.
2.) I know it’s been banged up, and worn, and loved.
3.) The signature tells me it is a Walter Lampl piece out of New York, a maker with his own interesting story.
4.) The date tells me the sweetheart may have entered the ETO with a role in preparation for Operation Overlord.
5.) Irene was a swell broad! Of all the things she could have engraved on the back of her man’s bracelet, she chose “Win.”
Indeed, Irene… indeed.