Collecting 01.09.2015
Chased two-colour gold brooch set with carved amethysts in the form of a fruiting mulberry with an enamelled gold ladybird on one leaf. The mulberries are carved on the upper side only.

Jewellery Transition From Death to Life

Stages of mourning are the steps towards reappearance in society. Each stage has its rituals to enable respect and memory…

Rings 06.08.2015
Silver gilt ring, the applied bezel with a heart between two death's heads. The hoop engraved with a worm and inscribed in black letter + iohes godefroy

The Earliest Mourning Ring

Discovering a beginning is the true way to understand the very essence of a concept. Mourning, at its core, is about…

Rings 29.07.2015
Micromosaic mourning ring, c.1800, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Cameo & Micromosaic Influences in Mourning Jewels

Culturally, the values of Europe differ across small geographic regions. Values in religion, politics, and language all have an impact on the styles of…

Memories 06.07.2015
A gold mourning brooch with black and white enamel frame set with circular miniature of Queen Victoria wearing the riband of the Order of the Garter

Mourning Fashion & Jewels During Victoria

Victoria’s reign from the 20th of June, 1837 to the 22nd of January, 1901 was the height and decline of the…

Memories 22.06.2015
Miniature of William IV when Duke of Clarence, bust-length, wearing a black coat and waistcoat over a white stock with the sash and star of the Order of the Garter mounted in a gold locket, possibly by Rundell, Bridge & Co., with chased and repoussé Garter emblems and with his crowned initials on the lid, the reverse chased with the badge of the Order of the Bath within the collar and the badge of the Order of the Thistle on a matte ground.

Mourning Fashion & Jewels During William IV

William IV was born William Henry on the 21st of August, 1765, the third son of George III. From the…

Memories 08.06.2015
c.1786, Gold ring, the oval bezel set with a James Tassie paste cameo of George, Prince of Wales, later King George IV

Mourning Fashion & Jewels During George IV

Between the time of the Regency Act in 1811 and the reign of George IV from 1820 to 1830, society…

Memories 25.05.2015
This ring formed part of a suite of jewels given to Queen Charlotte by the King on their wedding day, 8 September 1761. Charlotte Papendiek records that this ring is set with the ‘likeness of the King in miniature, done exquisitely beautiful for the coin, by our valued friend Jeremiah Meyer’ and was ‘given also to her Majesty to wear on the little finger of the right hand on this auspicious day’. The Queen also received ‘a diamond hoop ring ... a pair of bracelets, consisting of six rows of picked pearls as large as a full pea; the clasps - one his picture, the other his hair and cipher, both set round with diamonds; necklace with diamond cross; earrings, and the additional ornaments of fashion of the day’.

Mourning Fashion & Jewels During George III

Under the reign of George III (25th of October, 1760 – 29th of January, 1820), mourning jewellery and fashion was…

Memories 04.05.2015
Pendant, gold, set with a cameo under crystal of George I, England, about 1715

Mourning Fashion & Jewels During George I & II

Between 1714 and 1760, the monarchy under George I and George II created a stable and viable mourning industry that…

Memories 15.04.2015
Gold with paper or vellum, iron gall ink, gold wire and glass

Culture, Conflict & Mourning in the 17th & 18th Centuries

Having a basic understanding of monarchies in the early-modern period is essential to judging a jewel and its context. Art…

Collecting 23.03.2015
AN00435171_001_l

Mourning & Sentimental Jewels of the Georgian Era, An Introduction

“It is said to be peculiar to us, that our villages ape, so minutely, the fashions of our cities; that…

Uncategorized 16.03.2015

Hairwork, An Introduction

Often, the question is asked ‘how do I find more out about hairwork jewellery?’ Hair is one of the most…

Rings 02.03.2015
Memorial ring in gold and black enamel, the bezel containing a microphotograph, reversed, of the Prince Consort in 1861, which is attributed to J.J.E. Mayall. The cypher linking the initials 'V' and 'A' in white enamel is set into the shanks on either side of the bezel

Victoria’s Photographic Mourning Ring for Albert, 1861

Love doesn’t require historical importance, nor does it an emotion that requires a single catalyst to happen. It is shared…

Accessories 23.02.2015
This mourning buckle contains panels of woven hair, decorated with an elaborate inscription in gold thread and a small enamelled skull, all set behind rock crystal. The inscription, partly in latin, tells us that the piece commemorates Elizabeth Harman who died on 11 April 1698, aged 27.

Mourning Shoe Buckles and Fashion

As with any piece of fashion accessory, if it could be introduced into the mourning industry, it would be. The…

Rings 18.02.2015
memento mori mourning ring Samuell Nicholets obijt 17 July (1661) Christ is my portion 'Samuel Nicholets died 17 July 1661'

Memento Mori Mourning Ring, Samuel Nicholets, 17 July, 1661

Designs of death in jewellery and art are constantly evolving. Symbolism is the core of of identity in a culture,…

Photography 09.02.2015
Hair crucifix with pearl and its wearer

A Hair Work Crucifix and Primary Sources in Mourning

Primary sources are the ideal way of discovering the history of an object. It removes the supposition, emotion and modernity…

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Rings 02.02.2015
Princess Amelia was the youngest of the fifteen children of George III and Queen Charlotte. She died at the age of 27 after a long period of illness, precipitating her father's descent into insanity.  This ring is part of a set of 52, commissioned by her brother the Prince Regent, later George IV, to mark her life. It is inscribed 'Remember me' and with her initial 'A'. They were made by the Royal goldsmiths, Rundell, Bridge & Rundell.

Princess Amelia Mourning Ring, 1810

Royalty is often the best place to start when finding the most ideal jewel. All of the fashion, the culture…

Brooches 26.01.2015
Goldfields brooch with foliate design, 1855 - 1865

Colonial Australian Sentimental Jewels

Opportunity is a natural aspect to human advancement. Circumstances that are created by governments and politics may be harmful to…

Lockets 19.01.2015
Mourning locket in the form of a funerary urn with seed pearls and amethysts, reverse with lock of hair. Inscribed around edge in gold on white enamel, 'P.ALFRED. BORN 22.SEP 1780 DIED 20 AUG 1782'. Suspension loop.

Prince Alfred Funerary Urn Locket

The fourteenth child and ninth son of King George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Prince Alfred was born on the…

Bracelets 12.01.2015
20th century charm bracelet in silver

Charms, Chains and Bracelets

Charm bracelets defy the typical aesthetic convention of wrist jewellery, due to their ability to adapt, grow and completely contradict…

Lockets 25.12.2014
faithhopecharity_pendant1

Faith, Hope and Charity

The allegory of faith, hope and charity are important symbols of the early modern period, becoming prominent from the late…

Lockets 15.12.2014
"My Father, Being Dead Yet Speaketh," relates to the passage in the Old Testament, Hebrews 11:4, which says, “By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.” 1832 Pendant Black Enamel

Fatherly Love in the 1830s, Seen in a Pendant

Love of a father represents the paternal aspect of a family which had been seen as the provider and the…

Accessories 08.12.2014
Fidèle jusque a la Mort. Enamel Slide, 18th Century

Faithful Until Death, A Perfect Enamel Slide

The custom of marriage and how human relationships can form a life-long union is a primal instinct in our identity….

Rings 01.12.2014
forget-me-not ring, sentimental, blue enamel, cobalt, diamond, rose

Love, Flowers and Diamonds Create a Perfect Ring

Floral motifs in the late 18th century mark a change in symbolic and mourning practice. Even more than just for…

Collecting 24.11.2014
Richard Redgrave, 1846, "Throwing Off Her Weed"

A  Guide to the Stages of Mourning

Grief is automatically triggered by loss as part of our psychological construction. Mourning, in its most pure form, is a…

Is It, Or Isn't It? 20.11.2014
Skull Hairwork Ring Early 19th Century

A Mourning Tour: Anachronisms and a Mourning Ring

Anachronisms, or pieces from the times that don’t correlate to when they are meant to exist, are quite typical of…

Collecting 19.11.2014

A Mourning Tour: An Identification Guide to Mourning and Sentimental Jewels

There’s been a lot of discussion about the limits of what a fake or a forgery is over at the Art…

Lockets 18.11.2014
edwardian_blueportrait

A Mourning Tour: An Edwardian Miniature c.1910

The Edwardian Era, 1901 to 1910, was one of the primary catalysts to end the mourning industry. When I reference…

Memories 17.11.2014
Brooch in gold and enamel in the form of an enamelled ER VII monogram with a red and green enamelled crown. The crown and the letter R are set with diamonds.

A Mourning Tour: Decline of Mourning

The decline and disappearance of the mourning industry does not have one simple answer. It is a mix of cultural…

Textiles 16.11.2014
Object Type  Painted panels depicting family members with the symbols of birth, death and marriage were a common way of commemorating significant rites of passage. They acted as reminders to the living of their own mortality and were often handed down through later generations as heirlooms. The folding panels in this example emphasise the intimate nature of the object.  Subjects Depicted  The panels include several references to the passing of time and the fragility of life, as well as the events of marriage and death. On the left exterior panel are figures representing youth and age. On the right are two inscriptions, each incorporating a visual pun or 'rebus', in which a picture or figure represents a name, word or phrase. Here Christ is represented by a painted figure and the clock dial completes the inscription 'We Must' by representing the words 'Die All'.  Dress  Henry and Dorothy Holme are dressed in the style of the well-to-do merchant class rather than the height of fashion. While their garments are quite plain they could clearly afford the luxury of lace accessories. Henry's ruff and cuffs are trimmed with fine imported needle lace. His wife's are trimmed with bobbin lace of a typically English pattern. Broad-brimmed beaver hats, such as Dorothy wears, were popular with country gentlewomen and women of the merchant class.  Costume provides a clue to the sex of the children in this portrait. Boys up to the age of about 7 were dressed like little girls, wearing skirts known as petticoats. To differentiate them from girls the bodice part of their costume took the form of a man's doublet. Little girls typically wore an embroidered cap, or 'coif', and an apron with a bib. Long narrow strips of fabric known as leading strings are attached to both the children's sleeves. These were used to guide children as they learned to walk.

A Mourning Tour: Children in Mourning

A child in mourning is the ultimate symbol of family grief. The child is what carries forward a memory and…

Brooches 15.11.2014
Silesian iron wire-work brooch, c.1825

A Mourning Tour: Berlin Ironwork Jewellery

Giving something precious for an important cause is considered one of the most respectful ways to show honour and fidelity…