Many objects, sometimes simple, sometimes finely worked, are dear to those who keep them, because they are signs of affection, gifts, or symbols of a union that can survive separation. As the organ that controls our blood flow, the heart has long been considered to be the centre of our passions and our feelings. While it may represent the impulse that brings mankind to God or, on the contrary, divine love in depictions of the Sacred Heart, it symbolizes romantic love in many different objects given as tokens of desire or affection.
Hearts appear on many of the Mucem’s pieces, in a wide variety of forms: jewellery like pendants, rings, brooches, chatelaines and belt buckles, as well as engraved in wooden objects such as distaffs, beaters, ribbon threaders and lace winders, on cooking moulds and cutters, on caskets or, like here, in the form of a padlock. So many objects offered as pledges of sentiment!