Rings 02.05.2016
A gold fede and gimmel ring consisting of two interlocking and twisted hoops with clasped hands forming the bezel. Within the lower hand is a heart and, when the two hoops are joined, the top hand clasps this heart. The hands extend to the shoulders, becoming cuffs and these are decorated and partly enamelled. On the inside of each hoop is an inscription that remains concealed when the two hoops are shut.

Clasp Hands with an Early Gimmel Ring

Clasping hands is a universal symbol of a union and trust. Personal connections are forged through the range of time…

Collecting 03.12.2015
Full-length portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87), standing in mourning costume, with the Royal Arms of Scotland behind; she holds a crucifix in her right hand, a prayer-book in her left, and wears a cross and rosary; behind her are her two ladies; left a scene of her execution

Mourning Jewels: How They Were Worn, Part 1

A question as simple as ‘how was a jewel worn?’ leads to the most complex of answers. The narrative of…

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 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,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Brooches 21.07.2014
Come Ye Blessed Mourning Ribbon Slide Stuart Crystal Skeleton Cherub

‘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…

Rings 17.04.2013
17th Century Memento Mori Posy Ring

“Let virtue Rule Affection” Posie/Poesy Ring

Here, we see popular art and design have its influence on a posie ring and announce a change in sentimental…

Rings 15.04.2013
17th Century Posy Ring

“Let’s Live and Die In Unity” – A Perfect Sentiment in a Ring

Posie/poesy rings are the mostly insightful pieces of jeweller for interpersonal relationships of the 16th and 17th centuries. In a…

Rings 27.03.2013
17th Century Posy Ring Silver

“All I refuse & thee I chuse” Silver Posie/Posey Ring

With the sentiment of posie rings being popular today for their loving sentiment, it’s no surprise that their use as…

Rings 25.03.2013
17th Century Posy Ring

“Hearts United Live Contented” 17th Century Posie Ring

‘Hearts United Live Contented’ is a sentiment that resonates through posie rings and sentimental jewels from the early modern period…

Rings 22.03.2013
17th Century Posy Ring

‘Let vertue bee a guide’ 17th Century Posie Ring

As seen in this previous article ‘Posie Rings From the 17th Century‘, posie rings are identified predominantly by their inscriptions….

Rings 20.03.2013

Posie Rings From the 17th Century

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

Lockets 03.12.2012
Stuart Crystal Rectangular Pendant Early 18th Century

Early 18th Century Rectangular Pendant

Early 18th century jewels are easy to define due to the rosette shape of the bezel. This is not something…

Lockets 30.11.2012
Stuart Crystal Heart Memento Mori Locket Angels

Stuart Crystal Heart Pendant with Angels and Crown

The heart as a motif and a symbol of love has defined the intrinsic message of love since early-modern times…

Lockets 28.11.2012
Stuart Crystal Heart Memento Mori Locket

Memento Mori Stuart Crystal Heart

Several factors in this pendant make it pertinent to symbolic, industrial and cultural history. The truth in this piece is…

Lockets 26.11.2012
Charles II Locket

Charles II Pendant

The reunification of England was crucial to the development of the mourning and sentimental jewellery industry, primarily due to religious…

Lockets 23.11.2012
Charles I Locket

Lockets and Pendants From Early Modern to Today

In the same fashion as rings, lockets and pendants are important in their evolution and personal importance. As relevant as…

Bracelets 07.09.2012
Stuart Crystal, Sentimental, Mourning, Bracelet, Gold Cypher, Cipher, 17th Century

Early Modern Memorial and Sentimental Bracelets

Due to their size and function, sentimental and memorial bracelets have varied in degrees of popularity over time. Unlike more…

Brooches 20.06.2012
Memento Mori Ribbon Slide

Adapting Style in the 18th Century / Stuart Crystal Brooch

Use of the monogram cipher is a very important to note when considering the social change and the purpose of…

Brooches 18.06.2012
Memento Mori Ribbon Slide

Angelic Skeletons in A Memento Mori Ribbon Slide

Extraordinary is the only way to consider the symbolism used in this piece. From a modern perspective, it may be…

Brooches 15.06.2012
Queen Mary II Ribbon Slide

Queen Mary II Memento Mori Ribbon Slide

The above example, courtesy of Barbara Robbins, is a superb example of a mourning slide for Queen Mary II. Further…

Brooches 13.06.2012
Stuart Crystal, Ribbon Slide, 17th Century, Hairwork, Gold Wire Cypher, Cipher, Memento Mori, Skeleton, Hourglass

Memento Mori in a Ribbon Slide, Scythe, Hourglass and Skeleton Within!

The late 1600s were not only the time of the English Restoration, but the establishment of many industries that still…

Brooches 11.06.2012
Stuart Crystal, Ribbon Slide, 17th Century, Hairwork, Gold Wire Cypher, Cipher, Heart, Hands

A Heart Shaped Ribbon Slide, 1687

Hairwork and how it was placed inside a ribbon slide is a very important factor in the reason for a…

Brooches 08.06.2012
Stuart Crystal, Ribbon Slide, 17th Century

Two Love Hearts, Hairwork in a Ribbon Slide

The ribbon slide is one of the most iconic pieces of jewellery fashion from the 17th century, it was a…

Brooches 06.06.2012
Stuart Crystal, Ribbon Slide, 17th Century

Ribbon Slides, The Beginning

Ribbon slides of this nature are early examples of the move towards wide-spread jewellery mementos during the post restoration period….