Lockets 13.11.2014
French St Esprit Necklace

A Mourning Tour: French Saint Esprit Dove Necklace

During the Rococo period of the 18th century, much of the most ornate and elaborate jewellery was created. Rococo as a…

Brooches 12.11.2014
"Recuerd" Brooch with Turquoise, Doves and Forget-Me-Nots

A Mourning Tour: A ‘Recuerdo’ Brooch and Mourning/Sentimental Value

‘REGARD’ is a term used for both mourning and sentimental jewels; a term which crossed cultures and was embraced for…

Hairwork 11.11.2014
Victorian Hairwork Fob Chain With Serpent Clasp Heart

A Mourning Tour: The Art of Hairwork Collection

The Art of Hairwork was originally a series of articles written in 2012 as the format of Art of Mourning…

Brooches 10.11.2014

A Mourning Tour: Chalcedony and Sentimental Brooches in the 19th Century

The 19th century saw a massive swing towards sentimental jewellery, with an industry that could sustain itself through being popular…

Accessories 09.11.2014
Agate Hair Watch Key 19th Century Victorian

A Mourning Tour: Pocket Watch Key With A Hair Memento

Sentimental accessories show just how important the Romantic movement was within the fashion of 19th century society. Many peripheral accessories…

Brooches 08.11.2014
Black Enamel Mourning Brooch Gothic Revival In Memory Of

A Mourning Tour: The Mourning Brooch Standard, Early-Mid 19th Century

Mourning jewels are easy to identify for their purpose. It is within the sentiment of a jewel that one can…

Rings 07.11.2014
Drawing in pencil and watercolour on card

A Mourning Tour: 19th Century Jewellery Designs and Primary Sources

In the early modern era of jewellery design and manufacture, there is the need to create standardisation for artists to…

Rings 06.11.2014
Mourning Ring, 18ct Gold and Enamel, Hallmarked London 18ct Gold Dated 1827 inscribed with "Wm (William) Wrightson ob 26 Dec. 1827 At 75"

A Mourning Tour: In Memoriam / In Memory Of Rings, 19th Century

Black enamel bands are the most recognised of mourning jewels, being placed in very visible positions for others to see,…

Brooches 05.11.2014
Miers Sentimental Shade Profile Silhouette Brooch

A Mourning Tour: Silhouettes & Shades From Miers & Field

Capturing the image of a loved one affordably and quickly is a relatively modern invention. Having the technology to produce…

Brooches 04.11.2014
REGARD pin with turquoise

A Mourning Tour: The Georgian “REGARD” Brooch

Jewellers and goldsmiths who had a close proximity to the crown benefitted from the attention and fame that their patronage…

Rings 03.11.2014
French Neoclasscal Sepia Mourning Ring

A Mourning Tour: French Neoclassical Sepia/Hair Mourning Ring

1788; the colonisation of Australia, South Carolina ratifies the United States constitution to become the seventh state, the first edition…

Miniatures 02.11.2014
rest in peace 18th century urn mourning pendant

A Mourning Tour: “Rest In Peace” – An 18th Century Mourning Pendant

If ever a jewel was a contradiction in its title, it’s this mourning pendant. “Rest In Peace” is written modestly…

Rings 01.11.2014
Coronet "A souvenir (memory) of a daughter like no other" Crystal Ring

A Mourning Tour: “A souvenir (memory) of a daughter like no other” Coronet Crystal Ring

There is a delicate sentimentality in Stuart period jewels which reflect a burgeoning sense of love between two people. Attainable…

Rings 31.10.2014
Queen Caroline Of Ansbach Ring

A Mourning Tour: Queen Caroline Of Ansbach Mourning Ring

It’s often the mourning jewels for the monarchy which set the standard for style of their times. These jewels are…

Accessories 30.10.2014
Princess Charlotte candlestick

Memorial Princess Charlotte Candlestick

The cultural impact of Princess Charlotte of Wales’ death is one of the most significant events in Western cultural mourning…

Brooches 29.10.2014
Come Ye Blessed Mourning Ribbon Slide Stuart Crystal Skeleton Cherub

A Mourning Tour: ‘Come Ye Blessed’ – A Memento Mori Ribbon Slide and Memento Mori Evolution

Memento mori and its adaptation into jewellery and accessories is a unique look into how human behaviour and identity. Throughout…

Lockets 28.10.2014
Charles II locket

A Mourning Tour: Charles II Locket

Memorial jewels that commemorate an event or a specific cultural moment in time have existed since antiquity and continue to…

Lockets 27.10.2014
Skeleton Charles I ring

A Mourning Tour: Charles I in Mourning Jewellery History

Death is about identity. Having a memory of someone is the crucial element of their continuing existence through a network…

Rings 26.10.2014

A Mourning Tour: Posie Rings

Posie rings, otherwise known as ‘poesy’, ‘posy’ or ‘posey’, are one of the primary catalysts for the mourning and sentimental…

Brooches 25.10.2014
Butterfly mourning brooch, sardonyx cameo “Henry James Esqr died /13th Nov 1839 in his 80th Year”

Butterfly Symbols and 19th Century Jewellery

As with all symbols, there aren’t simple explanations for them when they transcend one culture or time. Organic symbols have…

Rings 13.10.2014
Mary Dean Obt 27 Augt 1794 AEt.73. eye portrait ring mourning

An Eye Miniature Mourning Ring, Mary Dean Obt 27 Augt 1794 AEt.73.

Eye portraits are rare and highly sought after, but there is variation between them. In the portrait shown, the setting…

Rings 06.10.2014
This gold ring has an oval bezel that opens to form a concealed locket, containing an enamelled portrait of Charles I (reigned 1625-49). The hinged lid is set with a diamond on an enamelled ground.  Commemorative jewellery depicting royalty was usually produced after the monarch's death, but was occasionally available during their lifetime, to be worn as a demonstration of loyalty. Commemorative jewellery, in the form of rings, lockets or hair clasps, was produced in great numbers after Charles' execution on 30 January 1649. Many examples have hinged lids: supporters of the Royalist cause, who wished to keep their allegiance secret, probably wore these during the Commonwealth under the rule of Oliver Cromwell. The Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 again produced great numbers of commemorative jewellery, made for those who claimed to have been Royalist supporters all along. Some rings commemorating Charles I were presented during his lifetime by his Queen, Henrietta Maria (1609-69), to Royalist supporters in appreciation of their continuing loyalty and financial backing, to be redeemed when the Civil War had ended.  Much commemorative jewellery is decorated with black enamel in the same fashion as mourning jewellery. The shoulders of this ring have a scroll pattern reserved in gold on a ground of black enamel, the diamond is bordered with black enamel, and the border of the bezel is decorated with a black and white enamelled pattern.  C. Oman, British rings 800-1914 (London, Batsford, 1974)

Memorial Ring Commemorating Charles I

Secrecy and devotion are intrinsically linked. Without the elements of love and fidelity that connect people, there is no honesty…

Rings 22.09.2014
Large navette shaped 15K gold ring, with 3-D ivory and gold mausoleum with a rounded dome and classical columns,  enclosing an eternal flame, and bearing the inscription, “zum andenken gewidmet”,  (“dedicated to the memory of”) upon an altar decorated with gold wires and hair.  Strands of hair are also laid along the sides of the mausoleum, as well as on some of the steps.  Around the bezel is cobalt blue enamel with gold letters giving the birth and death dates of the individual in German:  Gebohren den 22 Juli 1714 Gestorben den 1 Oct. 1783 (Born the 22 of July 1714, died the 1 of Oct. 1783). Part of the setting has been pried up, and the bezel and glass covering (replaced from old celluloid cover), can be easily lifted out.  The shank is plain, and tapers to a narrow band. I'm guessing it's English made for a German client.

German Mourning and Sentimental Jewellery

Understanding the way a culture operates is seen within the designs and art of a jewel. Until investment in the…

Memories 15.09.2014
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.

Decline of Mourning

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

Textiles 08.09.2014
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.

Children in Mourning

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

Rings 01.09.2014
Drawing in pencil and watercolour on card

19th Century Jewellery Designs and Primary Sources

In the early modern era of jewellery design and manufacture, there is the need to create standardisation for artists to…

Memories 30.08.2014
Michelle Watson FAÇADE

Michelle Watson’s FAÇADE Art Exhibit

When the chance to see artistic talent adapt classical styles with a direct influence on mourning and treat it with…

Miniatures 18.08.2014
French Mourning Miniature and mother on February 22nd, 1787, age 11 years, 4 months and 22 days.”

A French Mourning Pendant in 1787 For A Child

One of the most difficult concepts to gasp when identifying and appreciating mourning jewels is trying to separate the emotional…

Lockets 11.08.2014
French St Esprit Necklace

French Saint Esprit Dove Necklace

During the Rococo period of the 18th century, much of the most ornate and elaborate jewellery was created. Rococo as a…

Brooches 04.08.2014
"Recuerd" Brooch with Turquoise, Doves and Forget-Me-Nots

A ‘Recuerdo’ Brooch and Mourning/Sentimental Value

‘REGARD’ is a term used for both mourning and sentimental jewels; a term which crossed cultures and was embraced for…