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Collecting: Love tokens

Updated on March 24, 2016
JanTUB profile image

All my life, (71) I've been collecting odds and ends, starting with my tiny sewing machine. My new husband Bob collects too. Two bowerbirds!

Bobby gave me a love token. I carry it with me everywhere.

Love tokens come in many forms: traditionally they are coins from circulation, edges filed down and smoothed, engraved by hand with loving messages.

My husband Bobby's love tokens are different. He sees some small thing that he thinks I'll love and buys it. He leaves 'messages' around for me to find.

Twist-ties off the bread packet wrapped around the side piece of my eyeglasses. A flower picked from the garden and taped to my computer screen...

Image © Jan T Baillie 2009-2020

Bobby's first gift to me: my most prized possession

(He gives me gifts to show me that he loves me)

The first gift he ever gave me, he bought in an antique shop.

It was shiny. He likes shiny.

It was pretty. I like pretty.

It wasn't expensive as gifts go, but it wasn't cheap either.

It was a lipstick case. I don't wear lipstick.

It had a mirror attached. He thought I'd like that. Girls like mirrors.

The gift - A Limoges lipstick case by Patrys of Paris

Twist the cap - and it springs open to reveal

A mirror - for touching up your lippy

The outer case has a diamond pattern etched into it.

Pull out the tube - which used to hold the lipstick

Branded on the bottom: - Patrys Paris France

Around the top is Brevet© S.G.D.G. PARIS, and is also on the outside of the tube. This is the patent mark.

While searching for information

about this gift

I found one very similar, the same brand and age, and it sold for US$200!

Now Bobby thinks he's very clever for buying it.


Sought after by collectors

Limoges has become the generic name used to describe a particular style of porcelain decoration that was very popular in the first few decades of the twentieth century, although it has been around for much longer than that.

Limoges is a town near Paris, and it was in that region that manufacturers began to produce this form of artwork. Between the early 1700s and the 1930s, this painted porcelain made from Kaolin clay was produced in several factories and workshops.

I have a cake stand by Frank Haviland, made in Paris, and my step-mother gave me a pair of little blue vases in the Limoges style which she said were very old. They have no markings, but they are likely to be from the early twentieth century.

Start collecting Limoges boxes - Here's a tome about it on Amazon

What are love tokens?

Gifts exchanged to show love

The most common love token in modern society would be a ring.

  • Friendship rings are often given to show love between male and a female, before the more formal exchange of an engagement ring.
  • Wedding rings are symbolic love tokens worn by both marriage partners.
  • Beads are given to friends, in the form of bracelets, or armlets.
  • Quilters exchange friendship blocks to signify affection for another quilter.
  • Roses are sent to a special one. The colour tells the story.
  • Welsh love spoons are elaborately carved love tokens.

Image © Jan T Baillie 2009-2020

Welsh Love Spoons

Bobby used to bring me chocolates

Not good for my figure!

Cakes, lollies, doughnuts — anything he thought I would love to eat.

If he went to the shop for bread, he came back with cream cakes as well.

He is slim and can eat these things to his heart's content, but I need to go steady.

It was hard to tell him not to buy them, because he was buying me love tokens.

Image from Microsoft ClipArt Gallery

One Sunday after church

I found some love tokens left for me

We had two red chooks who had just laid their first eggs.

Bob collected them and decided to write love notes on them.

He left them in a prominent position so I wouldn't miss what he'd done!

Love tokens with a difference! - That's my Bobby


Bobby's latest love token!

It's pink, and I like turquoise, not pink.

While we were on holidays in the far south of NSW recently, he saw a tiny pink wallet in a gift box and decided it would be a lovely present to give me.

It is 2 inches wide and 2½ inches long.

When I opened the 'wallet', inside was a pink handled, fold-up set of tools. Pliers/wire cutters, nail file/star screwdriver, flat screwdriver, and a tiny knife. The cutest little set of tools you ever saw.

Bob is a collector of old hand tools, so I knew this was special in his eyes.

Open the wallet up - to find a tiny folded tool kit

Which has several different handy tools - A great little gadget

or a little pink toolkit - from Amazon

Little Pink Tool Kit with 10 Tools
Little Pink Tool Kit with 10 Tools
Wouldn't you just love this?

In my handbag I carry - all the necessities

When I change handbags to suit my outfit, I transfer everything into the current one.

I take with me:

  • my wallet, with my gold cards, Medicare card, pension cards, plastic...
  • a little green one-decade rosary my friend Annie gave me
  • emergency kit: Band-aids®, feminine supplies, floss pick...
  • a hanky (a pretty lacy one)
  • my reading glasses
  • my sunglasses
  • a pretty pale blue biro with butterflies on it
  • my asthma inhaler
  • the pink toolkit
  • a gold ring that Bobby gave me (I can't wear this love token because it's 9ct gold and I'm allergic to the copper in 9ct gold, so I carry it with me)


The most prized possession

the Limoges lipstick case

I never leave home without it, it's with me all the time.

If you had to run

What would you get?

© 2009 Jan T Urquhart Baillie


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