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Holiday Exhibit 2023

The holiday season has arrived, and traces of the first snowfall of winter can still be found hidden throughout the city. Following a temporary exhibit in November, the Nashua Historical Society has created a space for temporary, rotating exhibits to showcase parts of the collection that are not often seen. For the month of December, a holiday exhibit will be on view at the Florence H. Speare Memorial Museum. Rarely-seen objects from the collection are on display, ranging from New Hampshire paintings, to historic holiday cards, to nineteenth-century winter fashion.


Purse made of shell with a mother-of-pearl surface painted with a blue and green floral design and the message "A Merry Christmas 1885."
Shell Purse, 1885

One popular holiday tradition is the giving of gifts. Such gifts have taken many forms over the centuries. While it is not known how many objects currently on view may have been originally given as gifts, two were made to commemorate the holidays and were likely either souvenirs, gifts, or both.


The pictured purse was created in 1885. It is made from shell and painted with a floral design and message that reads, “A Merry Christmas 1885.” The origin of the purse is not known, but the painted message suggests that it was either a holiday souvenir or a gift.


Nut spoon, silver or silver-plated with gold patina, heart-shaped spoon with floral design on handle.
Nut Spoon, 1892
Detail of inscription on back of handle of nut spoon, reads "Xmas '92."
Nut Spoon, back of handle, 1892

Engraved on the back of the pictured heart-shaped nut spoon is “Xmas ’92,” short for 1892. According to accompanying records, the spoon was given as a gift to Misses Kate and Abbie Laton from Mrs. Kate Grover, likely in 1892.


To see these objects and more this December, stop by the Florence H. Speare Memorial Museum.



Happy holidays from the Nashua Historical Society!


Looking for more activities this holiday season?


Consider attending the final tour of the award-winning exhibit And the Bride Wore…: A Showcase of 150 Years of Nashua Bridal Fashion.

When: Saturday, December 16, 2023, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Where: Abbot-Spalding House, 1 Nashville Street, Nashua, NH

For more information, please visit our Events Page.

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