Lockets 30.06.2014

“Bereft Of All” – The Love of Three in One Pendant, c.1798

Bereft of All, 1798 Mourning Pendant

Bereft of All, 1798 Mourning Pendant

Genealogy is part of the rich history of mourning jewels, with the more we know about them bringing us closer to their sentimental meaning. While many jewels have their inscriptions upon the back, a vast majority are lost through wear or even modern jewellers polishing out the sentiment to make the piece more attractive for resale. This is not uncommon, but it does remove the jewel from its proper time.

On the 28th of December, 1772, Augustine Willis married Mrs Anne Heath, the widow of the late John Heath, found in the marriage records of Virginia. This pendant was created c.1798 upon the death of Augustine, but also bears the name of John Heath, making its original owner a very likely Anne Heath who suffered through the deaths of two husbands.

Perceptions, Growth and Fashion
A fascinating aspect of this pendant is that it crosses generations in fashion. The late 18th century was a rapidly mobile time for fashion to change, with advanced technologies providing daily newspapers and periodicals promoting wider reach for opinions and ideas as well as fashion plates and styles. Colonies disseminated the Neoclassical period and its fashion, providing an historical link to the old world and cultural ancestry in the new world colonies which were far removed from the objects and architecture of history that established cultures.

Consider that the following style was popular in the 1770s:

Sepia ring, c.1770, pearls, cherub, wreath, column, hearts, dove

Sepia ring, c.1770, pearls, cherub, wreath, column, hearts, dove

And that the stark white background, typically ivory or vellum (later opaque glass) was the new canvas for the Neoclassical symbols to develop. The Neoclassical period was ushered in through the archaeological discoveries in Herculaneum and Pompeii, providing societies with genuine discoveries of societies locked in time. These classical symbols could be interpreted through jewellery, as seen in the putti/cherub placing the wreath upon hearts sitting upon the unbroken column. Symbolism was now taking the place of traditionally direct statements of love written inside a ring, or mortality being displayed through the memento mori visage of decay and death.

1782 Mourning Ring

This piece, c.1782, shows how the style developed. In the 1770s, the styles were being pioneered and explored, with rings and pendants finding the shape/size of a canvas that would be most appropriate for the symbols. By the 1780s, it was large enough to accommodate the primary symbols of love and grief, in this case, sharing the urn and plinth, but having an idyllic design for them. This can be seen replicated in such jewels as:

1776 Mourning Ring

In the above example, it shows how the urn and symbols were developing in 1776. Fashion was learning to adapt to the navette (pointed north to south) shape. Worn at the finger, neck or wrist, the shape perfectly conforms to the body, being ergonomically ideal for daily wearing (many have a convex reverse). With the above pendant, the style is carefully painted. The female character leans against the urn, with the willow awkwardly filling its space inside the border. The text is carefully written around the extremity of the piece, but doesn’t perfectly balance. When considered with the piece of today’s article and the 1782 piece above, this is a style that is still trying to discover a sense of conformity. Neoclassical art had permeated through countries and continents, being more conservative in Catholic regions, but still allegory was the key to identity. This piece doesn’t have the conformity of shape, either, something which would happen rapidly.

“On This Shall Dwell The Tender Thought” Mourning Ring

And in the above example, the navette style that was to become popular and the standard for wearable jewels of allegorical nature is seen to emerge. The sharpening of the mort hand the south of the piece, as well as more formal design to the urn and the willow allowed for more detailed dedications being painted on the canvas. The 1882 ring shows how this developed to its apex.

Pendants, however, of the larger sort, remained oval in shape. These were displayed, rather than worn, often in their own compact-destined velvet boxes. These sizes became typical in the 1790s, a time when the styles started introducing colour into the mourning depictions. The brown and darker red shades of the sepia colour (signifying body and earth) gave way to muted colour seen in the 1798 pendant. Note how the female mourner is in mourning fashion and there is the introduction of realistic colour, but the earlier sepia style is represented.

1795, “Parting With Grief” Mourning Brooch

In this navette brooch from 1795, the colour representation in the background is unmistakable. Watercolour was leading into the colourful Neoclassical symbols; something that blurred the line between the popular portrait miniatures of the early 19th century and sentimental allegorical depictions.

Mourning fashion, seen in the pendant of this article, is important to identify it as a piece of the very late 18th century and how the allegory of the female was becoming more literal. There character here is much closer to the wearer than the earlier rings seen from the 1770s and 1780s. Fashion in jewels and Neoclassical art is the most individual of the society. There is a delineation between portrait miniature and classical representation in the the late 18th century, with the use of togas and impractical classical costume being highly stylised, through to the actual depiction of the wearer within the jewel. In the 1798 piece, we are closer to what the wearer would have worn and been seen as.

Charlotte at the Tomb of Werter, 1783

Charlotte at the Tomb of Werter, 1783

Popular culture is the most effective way of creating identity within symbolism. If there is a cultural movement or predilection of style that is used in a way that can create an icon, such as the willow and urn here, then it will become a symbol that crosses cultures. Considering that Napoleon himself was a fan of the work and Napoleon defined the classical style through jewellery, then popular culture can drive the message of mourning beyond a religious or monarchial figurehead.

Post 1760, the Neoclassical movement had crept into the previously fashionable Rococo style of costume fabrics. Elaborate Rococo floral motifs moved to simple stripes or smaller motifs. Side hoops were discarded and lighter silks and cotton was introduced, with much influence being from the aristocracy. Marie Antoinette was painted in La reine en gaulle, by Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, 1783, introducing a new style that reflected the peasantry, showing a muslin chemise, straw hat and belt at the waist.

Marie Antoinette, La reine en gaulle, 1783

Marie Antoinette, La reine en gaulle, 1783

The 18th century welcomed in greater convention for mourning fashion and began to see the rise of the mourning industry. This became so much so that mourning dress was becoming desirable and the difference between mourning and non mourning dress was narrowing. Much of the fashion in this century was dictated by the fabric rather than the cut, and the silk industries in France and England held major influence on mourning wear because of this. It was Ordre Chronologique des Deuils de la Cour, (1765) where details of Court mourning in France were published, giving precise tailoring instructions. From their first days in mourning, men were permitted to appear in Court, unless it was after the death of a parent from whom they had received inheritance.

Widows had to wait one year and six weeks, with the first six months in black wool. Lord Chamberlain and Earl Marshall both ordered shorter periods of mourning in France and England respectively.

As in the 17th century, black and plain were required. Bombazine dresses trimmed in black crape, black silk hoods and plain white linen were worn with black shammy leather shoes, glove and crape fans. Jewellery was not permitted. Second mourning consisted of black dresses, trimmed with fringed or plain linen, white gloves, black or white shoes, fans and tippets and white necklaces and earrings as necessary. Grey lusterings, tabbies and damasks were acceptable for less formal occasions.

Albina, 1791 (a young woman in mourning dress)

Albina, 1791 (a young woman in mourning dress)

Ordre Chronologique des Deuils de la Cour was specific and influential enough to decide upon women’s fashions, as. It was specific enough to specify that; ‘dress was cut with a train and turned back with a braid attached to the side of the skirt, which was pulled through the pockets.’ This is where the overskirt is turned to the back and lifted up, revealing the petticoat underneath, called; robe retrousee dans les poche, the centre front robings were joined with hooks or ribbons. Cuffs were cut with one fold and deep hems, the waist was held in place by a crape belt that was tied on. This left two ends hanging down to the hem of the skirt.

A woman’s accessories were a crape shawl, gloves, shoes with metallic bronzed buckles, a black woollen muff and a black crape fan. Head dresses of black crape and white batiste were referenced. For much of the century, however, ‘paniers’ were fashionable, but in the French style, with loose pleating falling from the shoulders to the back. The English manner of this was with the back pleats stitched down as far as the waistline. Also popular were lace ruffles at the neck and the cuff, embroidered stomachers, silver gilt lace, appliqué work and small aprons. None of these were permitted for mourning wear. Mourning wear for women still remained consistent in that it remained plain, black or sometimes white fabric.

Mrs Merry in the Character of Calista, 1792

Mrs Merry in the Character of Calista, 1792

Mrs Merry playing Calista, seen above, is a good representation of what popular mourning was identified as in the 1790s. With the cross-pollination of society and culture, there were subtle changes to what one culture would wear compared to another, however, mourning was more regulated and more proper to have ubiquity. It is a careful balance of fashion, culture and the seriousness of the situation that standardises mourning fashion.

By the 19th century, this would only become more regulated. Access to materials, be they gems or metal for jewels or fabrics for costume, were the key reasons why style changed.

Collecting Families
Jewels carry an identity that goes beyond simple aesthetic. There is a life involved with every piece, beyond what was worn and why. In this pendant, there are three lives involved – the wearer, Augustine Willis and John Heath. It’s a wonderful concept to be able to trace a family through a jewel – genealogical records can be literal to the fact of what a person was doing at a certain time and where they came from. Jewels can show how they presented themselves within society, be it love, grief or religion. Anne Heath, who quite likely commissioned this piece installed a good amount of her personality into the jewel, from the double-woven hair in the border, to the ‘Bereft of All’ sentiment written on the plinth. Note that its quality gives it a much greater view into its history, as more effort could be committed into bringing the central piece of art to life.

Ship_front

The inscriptions upon a jewel are the key to finding out about their heritage. In the case of the above ring, Sarah Nehama undertook considerable research to discover its origins, based upon my own general assumptions surrounding its age. To quote Sarah;

“I purchased this ring online from an Englishwoman who really knew nothing about it other than it had been in her late husband’s family for over 50 years. The inside of the ring shank has the usual memorial dedication, with the date of death, and the age; however, in this case, rather than a full name, there are only initials (E. W.) with a crown, or coronet, in front of them. What intrigued me quite a lot when I first examined this ring, was a much larger coronet engraved on the underside of the bezel, along with a prominent initial “W” and then the two initials “A+T”. Here were pieces of a puzzle left to me to solve regarding the identity of the deceased: two coronets (inner shank, and under the bezel), initials E. W. on the inner shank along with the date of death (Dec. 1, 1841) and the age (83), plus two joined initials not matching the others (A+T). Where to begin?”

It’s good to understand the immediate heritage of a jewel, if possible. Knowing that it had been a in a family for a long term. This makes it closer to what the nature of the jewel may be, as the idea of collecting is a very recent one, considering how wealth and appreciation for a short span of history is accessible to many. Otherwise, it’s the re-appropriation of a jewel that makes it live a new life. Quite often, the reverse inscription would be buffed out and a jewel can take on a new life, either for mourning or

Ship_Under2

Through Sarah’s research, the answers to the history of the ring became more fascinating. While this is quite an elaborate ring with high attention to detail and quality, the inscription had been largely lost. Research and making safe assumptions can lead to a high level of understanding, as she had found out:

“…this ring mourns the death of Elizabeth, Dowager Countess of Winterton. Who is she, and how did my friend connect the information with her? A dowager Countess is the wife of a late earl; in this case, the First Earl of Winterton, Edward Turnour. And what was Elizabeth’s maiden name? Armstrong. And there we have our earl’s coronet, the W, for Winterton, A+T for Armstrong + Turnour, and the date of Countess Elizabeth’s death in London at the age of 83 on Dec. 1, 1841.”

Brilliant research for a brilliant ring. Further to this, there are the pieces that are largely lost because their statements aren’t as prominent. One can assume that it was created for a person, or family, but not know where it had its origin. This is especially true of the latter 19th century jewels. They were largely bought from catalogues and their styles were standardised across continents. The Hallmarking Act of 1854 in Britain allowed for lower grade alloys used in jewels, so the cross-pollination of mourning and sentimental jewels could only rise, with lower classes having styles of jewels that were previously unattainable.

Hair is one such material that can be worn with only a low level of skill to weave it.

1855 hairwork bracelet

1855 Hairwork Bracelet

This bracelet has several different names inscribed upon the reverse and also the different coloured hair woven to make the bracelet itself. It is a loving sentiment for an entire family and not at all for the purpose of death, but that for memory. As to its origin and where it came from, one can only assume. There are no hallmarks to define its country of origin, nor any language to create a statement about it. Being purchased from Australia, its origin could have been England or America.

The family, in this case, is lost to modern times. Whereas the 1798 pendant has the names written around its border. This is a jewel that can be traced through time (to some degree of certainty).

Whereas, photography bought into light the immediate way of capturing the likeness of someone without any necessary skill. Jewels accommodated this by growing in size, something which lower grade alloys and the usage of less precious metals could allow for. The research conducted around the following photograph pendant is a great way to see how modern audiences can understand families through good identification of the jewel.

Clara Wilkinson Photograph Mourning Pendant

Clara Wilkinson 1851-1867

Clara Wilkinson was born in 1851 and died in 1867 of tuberculosis and was a maternal relation to Benjamin Franklin. Her inscription is written around the exterior of the pendant, with her photograph being the only clear design element to the front. On the reverse, the woven hairwork captures her essence as well as the photograph itself.

Education
It’s through education that mourning jewels existed for so long, with their requirement being the ability to weave hair, stitch a sampler or retain a keepsake of a loved one to be placed in a jewel. The handing down of knowledge, as well as the simple method to create art were the reasons why it was so standardised and popular throughout cross-cultural societies. Dresses could be dyed black for mourning, or just altered with trim to fit into one of the three stages of mourning, but once again, this could be taught in the home and carried on as a mourning custom.

Hairworking, as a practice, was something that could be done in the home or in a proper profession. Indeed, it was one of the earliest, early-modern, female professions within an industry, as women would be employed to weave hair. Mark Campbell’s excellent ‘The Art of Hair Work’ (1875);

“THE hair to be used in braiding should be combed perfectly straight, and tied with a sting at the roots, to prevent wasting. Then count the number of hairs for a strand, and pull it out from the tips, dip it in water, and draw it between the thumb and finger to make it lie smoothly. Then tie a solid single knot at one end, the same as you would with a sewing thread.”

The methodology of hairwork is in its simplicity as a keepsake. This is a token of love that could be given to a person of affection with a simple lock of hair. Where Campbell’s instructional guide justifies the use of hair as a legitimate material for jewellery production is in how it provides a balance between this and technicality. Campbell writes in a way that makes hairworking incredibly simple for the beginner; as long as one has the instruments for its construction.

There is also an assumption based upon the weaving style that there are various difficulties in the more elaborate patterns of hairworking.

Mark Campbell Hairwork for Beginners Bobbins

Campbell goes on to describe the bobbin next. The bobbins cut defines the braiding pattern from fine open work, to tight braiding. No. 1 can be used from one to four hairs in a strand, while No. 2 is for five to twenty.

Following on from the change in complexity of hairwork, the use of the bobbins suggests the differentiation of the difficult to the simple. Certainly, one must have skill to weave the difficult and more elaborate styles of multiple strands of hair, whereas one who could work in two to four hairs could weave simpler patterns of hair.

Mark Campbell Hairwork for Beginners Table

The essential element here is the table. The tripod table has a cap and a rim, which revolves. There is a hole through which the braid and weight can be passed through.

Here is the most important piece of the hairworking instrumentality. This table is the centre of the hairworking method; defining the outcome and providing the basis of the professional hairworking industry. With this table, the amateur hair worker could accomplish the designs that could be done within the profession of hairwork.

Mark Campbell Hairwork for Beginners Table

In this image, we can see the strands of hair over the cover with the bobbins attached and the weight attached to the braid. This enhances the weight of the hair to be passed downwards and braided into the desired shape.

Mark Campbell Hairwork for Beginners Weights

These lead bobbins are for braiding rings and chains from two to forty hairs. The smaller, No 1. is used for a few strands of hair, while No 2. is for higher numbers, due to its size. Most interesting is the need to;

“prepare the bobbin, wind it with thread, as shown in the cut, leaving the thread some three inches long with a solid knot tied at the end”

Certainly, the hairworker’s craft was a delicate one; a craft which required (and still does) patience. A patience that can acknowledges the reason for importing great quantities of colour-matched hair for use in the industry. This is the reason for many sentimental jewels having greater amounts of hair than what was given to the jeweller for usage in a jewel and also for the maintaining of a proper industry that could turn over high numbers within a short period of time.

Mark Campbell Hairwork for Beginners Weight

The lead weight was the counter balance to the hair working operations. It could ‘draw the world through the center of the table as fast as braided, and to balance the bobbins’, which would essentially change the braid from being loose, light or rough. Weights could be added as desired.

Such was the profession of the hairworking industry in London, that advertisements of competing hairworkers were common. This alludes to any contemporary fashion rivalry in the media and gives us a great insight as to Campbell’s demystification of hair weaving in the 1870s:

“Hair jewellery, Artist in Hair. Dewdney begs to inform Ladies or Gentlemen that he beautifully makes, and elegantly mounts in gold, Hair Bracelets, Chains, Brooches, Rings, Pins, Studs, etc. and forwards the same, at about one-half the usual charge. A beautiful collection of specimens handsomely mounted kept for inspection. An illustrated book sent free. Dewdney, 172 Fenchurch St. London.” (Advertisement, Illustrated London News, May 1862).

Mark Campbell Hairwork for Beginners Interior

These are the forms for braiding over, which would define tight to open weave braids. For collectors, you may find hairwork jewels with the form showing out from frayed hair. This happens most of all around the clasp and the fittings; you will often find the interior being exposed to these jewels and accessories. It doesn’t make a great deal of impact to their sentimental value, but from a collecting standpoint, these jewels are not repairable in a way which wouldn’t compromise their original construction.

Be sure that your hairwork is protected and kept out of the light and moisture. Discolouration of hair, as well as the very susceptible nature of hair to grow mould are very common within antique hairwork worn today. Bacteria grows within the weave strands quite easily and can spread to other jewels if stored together, so do be careful if you choose to wear your jewel. Many of the style were worn over clothing, as opposed to against the skin, which can equate to why mistakes have been made today (as necklaces are more commonly worn under the clothing) and treatment of the hair isn’t proof that it won’t contract any mould.


Hairworking, as a practice, was something that could be done in the home or in a proper profession. Indeed, it was one of the earliest, early-modern, female professions within an industry, as women would be employed to weave hair. Mark Campbell’s excellent ‘The Art of Hair Work’ (1875);

“THE hair to be used in braiding should be combed perfectly straight, and tied with a sting at the roots, to prevent wasting. Then count the number of hairs for a strand, and pull it out from the tips, dip it in water, and draw it between the thumb and finger to make it lie smoothly. Then tie a solid single knot at one end, the same as you would with a sewing thread.”

The methodology of hairwork is in its simplicity as a keepsake. This is a token of love that could be given to a person of affection with a simple lock of hair. Where Campbell’s instructional guide justifies the use of hair as a legitimate material for jewellery production is in how it provides a balance between this and technicality. Campbell writes in a way that makes hairworking incredibly simple for the beginner; as long as one has the instruments for its construction.

There is also an assumption based upon the weaving style that there are various difficulties in the more elaborate patterns of hairworking.

Mark Campbell Hairwork for Beginners Bobbins

Campbell goes on to describe the bobbin next. The bobbins cut defines the braiding pattern from fine open work, to tight braiding. No. 1 can be used from one to four hairs in a strand, while No. 2 is for five to twenty.

Following on from the change in complexity of hairwork, the use of the bobbins suggests the differentiation of the difficult to the simple. Certainly, one must have skill to weave the difficult and more elaborate styles of multiple strands of hair, whereas one who could work in two to four hairs could weave simpler patterns of hair.

Mark Campbell Hairwork for Beginners Table

The essential element here is the table. The tripod table has a cap and a rim, which revolves. There is a hole through which the braid and weight can be passed through.

Here is the most important piece of the hairworking instrumentality. This table is the centre of the hairworking method; defining the outcome and providing the basis of the professional hairworking industry. With this table, the amateur hair worker could accomplish the designs that could be done within the profession of hairwork.

Mark Campbell Hairwork for Beginners Table

In this image, we can see the strands of hair over the cover with the bobbins attached and the weight attached to the braid. This enhances the weight of the hair to be passed downwards and braided into the desired shape.

Mark Campbell Hairwork for Beginners Weights

These lead bobbins are for braiding rings and chains from two to forty hairs. The smaller, No 1. is used for a few strands of hair, while No 2. is for higher numbers, due to its size. Most interesting is the need to;

“prepare the bobbin, wind it with thread, as shown in the cut, leaving the thread some three inches long with a solid knot tied at the end”

Certainly, the hairworker’s craft was a delicate one; a craft which required (and still does) patience. A patience that can acknowledges the reason for importing great quantities of colour-matched hair for use in the industry. This is the reason for many sentimental jewels having greater amounts of hair than what was given to the jeweller for usage in a jewel and also for the maintaining of a proper industry that could turn over high numbers within a short period of time.

Mark Campbell Hairwork for Beginners Weight

The lead weight was the counter balance to the hair working operations. It could ‘draw the world through the center of the table as fast as braided, and to balance the bobbins’, which would essentially change the braid from being loose, light or rough. Weights could be added as desired.

Such was the profession of the hairworking industry in London, that advertisements of competing hairworkers were common. This alludes to any contemporary fashion rivalry in the media and gives us a great insight as to Campbell’s demystification of hair weaving in the 1870s:

“Hair jewellery, Artist in Hair. Dewdney begs to inform Ladies or Gentlemen that he beautifully makes, and elegantly mounts in gold, Hair Bracelets, Chains, Brooches, Rings, Pins, Studs, etc. and forwards the same, at about one-half the usual charge. A beautiful collection of specimens handsomely mounted kept for inspection. An illustrated book sent free. Dewdney, 172 Fenchurch St. London.” (Advertisement, Illustrated London News, May 1862).

Mark Campbell Hairwork for Beginners Interior

These are the forms for braiding over, which would define tight to open weave braids. For collectors, you may find hairwork jewels with the form showing out from frayed hair. This happens most of all around the clasp and the fittings; you will often find the interior being exposed to these jewels and accessories. It doesn’t make a great deal of impact to their sentimental value, but from a collecting standpoint, these jewels are not repairable in a way which wouldn’t compromise their original construction.

Be sure that your hairwork is protected and kept out of the light and moisture. Discolouration of hair, as well as the very susceptible nature of hair to grow mould are very common within antique hairwork worn today. Bacteria grows within the weave strands quite easily and can spread to other jewels if stored together, so do be careful if you choose to wear your jewel. Many of the style were worn over clothing, as opposed to against the skin, which can equate to why mistakes have been made today (as necklaces are more commonly worn under the clothing) and treatment of the hair isn’t proof that it won’t contract any mould.

And it is the weave that defines. Often, many have been appropriated for other reasons, the most common of which being a fob chain turned into a necklace.

Bracelets have much more different and open weaves, so they are easier to spot. Elasticity is important for stretching over a wrist (more important in the latter 19th century due to fashion), but it is necessary to analyse the jewel to be sure of its intent.
The most obvious things to look out for are the fittings. If there are obvious fittings in the centre for a fob chain, then it most certainly wasn’t originally a necklace, but a jewel can be worn for many purposes, so that is the prerogative of the wearer.

Catalogues

19th Century Locket Charm

Items like these from the 19th century can easily be traced back to their catalogue. Charms and accessories on hair watch chains and necklaces are as bespoke to the piece as the hair itself. It is important for the collector to understand that these are the elements of daily fashion that a gentleman or lady (depending on the accessory) could adorn themselves with to remind them of their loved one. One element here to demystify is that they were used predominantly for mourning purposes and this couldn’t be further from the truth. As we have seen with hair as a material, this was fashionable and a way to show ones love and still keep that functional.

Jewellery Catalogue, Martin Campbell

Jewellery Catalogue

Catalogues are a great way of identifying chains and their accessories, as there are region-specific element that are reflected in designs, but for British and American chains, there was a great sharing of production. The Illustrated Jewelry Catalogue (1892) shows a range of chains and accessories in jet, silk, rolled plated, filled and silver chains, in the style of Victoria, Dickens, lady and gentlemen. The cost range here is $33.00 to $1.00, depending on style, length or material.

Catalogues are an important factor in understanding how ubiquitous the nature of mourning carried through culture. The pendant of today’s article had seen a generation of mourning style through the life of one lady and it was represented in a piece of high fashion. When compared to half a century later, this would be standardised in the form of jewels that could be easily purchased cross-culturally. One in America could purchase a jewel in England or France that could be worn back in America with style. As for mourning in the late 18th century, there was more cultural sensitivity surrounding the Neoclassical movement and its challenge to religion. In the case of this pendant, it works cross-culturally as well. Style had become standardised to a point where the personal nature of mourning was the only challenge to religion, with classical symbols used in the content of Catholic mourning. In only the space of 30 years, mourning and sentimentality became global.

Connecting the Past

Bereft of Will, 1798 Mourning Pendant

Bereft of all, 1798 Mourning Pendant

Historical context is the heart of each and every jewel. If Art of Mourning has one instruction, it is that every element of a jewel is a narrative of its time, from social and political to art history. When faced with such a magnificent pendant as seen in today’s article, it would be a disservice to simply discuss the nature of its symbolism, but talk about the greater context that a lady suffered the grief of two husbands over quite a span of time and decided to fashion a jewel of this to remember the time. Its resonance carries forward today, with the sentiment still blatant. It is fashionable and it is beautiful in its grief.

Courtesy: Sarah Nehama, Barbara Robbins