Retired florist, Ann Eaton, wasn’t expecting to find anything when she opened a Georgian puzzle purse given to her by her late mother.
The puzzle purse – a delicate box made of paper – had been left unopened since its creation in 1782, in case someone accidentally ripped the delicate material. So when the 73-year-old pensioner opened it, she was surprised to see a note hidden on the back of the paper. It was a letter in eloquent prose, penned by a lovesick man who wrote it as a marriage proposal to a woman he was pining for 236 years ago.
Ann, from Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, has now decided to sell the love token – which was accompanied by sketches of doves and hearts – at an auction. ‘I kept it in my jewellery box and looked at it from time to time, but never dared open it. It’s so fragile,’ she said. ‘I’m not sure if it’s a family heirloom but I think it was given to my mum by her eldest brother many years ago…[READ MORE]