Bracelets 07.09.2012

Early Modern Memorial and Sentimental Bracelets

Stuart Crystal, Sentimental, Mourning, Bracelet, Gold Cypher, Cipher, 17th Century

Due to their size and function, sentimental and memorial bracelets have varied in degrees of popularity over time. Unlike more personal forms of mourning jewellery (such as lockets), they are a public display of mourning and often a status symbol.

Stuart Crystal, Sentimental, Mourning, Bracelet, Gold Cypher, Cipher, 17th Century

Their function is defined by fashion, where it dictates, they become popular. The use of other materials, such as hairwork, and their size makes bracelets a type of jewellery that demand their own focus.

Stuart Crystal, Sentimental, Mourning, Bracelet, Gold Cypher, Cipher, 17th Century

Rather interesting for a bracelet, given its age and style, there’s no doubt as to its function as a clasp, or its beauty. This piece uncommonly uses turquoise as a surround for the crystal interior, and the typical gold cipher on top of hair. Turquoise wasn’t commonly used as a material until the early 19th century and bracelets are very uncommon for late 17th century pieces (the clasp even denotes late 18th / early 19th century influence), but a look to the reverse of this piece shows that there’s no change to the gold work. However, the very embellished acorn design (another 19th century influence) in gold cipher is unusual for its popularity of the late 17th century early 18th century. Many questions arise, but what is without doubt is the sheer beauty of this piece and how marvellous it has stood the test of time.

Courtesy: Barbara Robbins