Rings 16.04.2017
Mourning ring for Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806). Gold ring, hoop enamelled in black with central hinged rectangular reserve, set with bloodstone carved with ducal coronet above gothic GD monogram and inscription, 'ob. March 30 / 1806'. Back set with woven hair behind glass.

Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire’s Mourning Ring

What we leave behind is often the memory of the influence we had upon people’s lives. Often, a time and…

Rings 06.12.2016
John Rose Mourning Rings, 1815, black and white enamel with hair

Family Mourning Rings for John Rose, 1815

Mourning jewellery is a physical connection between people. Be it from the wearer to the deceased, it also connects the…

Rings 28.04.2016
Gold and black enamel mourning ring with an octagonal swivel case containing, on one side, a gold crowned CR monogram on ground of white hair, under a crystal; the reverse with lock of grey hair and an inscription on the band 'ob 17 Nov, 1818 aet. 75'. Shank enamelled in black.

Royalty & Control in a Mourning Ring for a Queen, 1818

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was born on the 19th of May 1744 and passed away on the 17th of November, 1818….

Rings 10.04.2016
Mourning-ring; enamelled gold, the hoop enamelled white, in the form of two skeletons supporting a coffin-shaped bezel with moveable lid fastened with a pin and ornamented with a Maltese cross once enamelled red, on a black ground with hearts reserved in the metal, an enamelled cinquefoil at one end. Inside the coffin is a tiny white-enamelled skeleton. At the back of the bezel ares two clasped hands.

Skeletal Memento Mori Ring

Mourning jewellery and devotional jewellery represent the same ideals. Piety and love come from an undying fidelity that allows a…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

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 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 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,…

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…

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…

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…

Is It, Or Isn't It? 03.03.2014
Skull Hairwork Ring Early 19th Century

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…

Hairwork 24.02.2014
Victorian Hairwork Fob Chain With Serpent Clasp Heart

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…

Rings 17.02.2014
Coffin_1

1728 Skeletal Coffin Ring

Memento mori is the depiction of death in its most literal for. Showing the desecration of the body and the…

Rings 06.01.2014
Diamond Urn Early 19th Century

Mary Viscountess of Andover Diamond Urn Ring, 1803

Born in 1717, Lady Mary Finch was the daughter of Heneage Finch, 2nd Earl of Aylesford and Mary Fisher. She…

Brooches 09.12.2013
William Busby Mourning Brooch

William Busby D.D. Mourning Brooch c.1820

‘In Memory Of’ is such a simple statement, one which represents such a vast number of jewels. Being a statement…

Rings 18.11.2013
"Love is the Bond of Peace" Skeleton Band

“Love is the Bond of Peace” Skeleton Band

Death, as an identification of mortality in a mourning jewel, began using the most obvious tropes relating to the desecration…

Lockets 30.09.2013
Front of locket: diamond, starburst

William Henry Smith Mourning Locket

Historical jewels are often marked by a certain quality that comes from having a notorious figure being memorialised. Be it…

Rings 16.09.2013
Mourning Ring, 18ct Gold and Enamel, Hallmarked London 18ct Gold Dated 1827 inscribed with "Wm (William) Wrightson ob 26 Dec. 1827 At 75"

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,…

Rings 02.09.2013
Edgar Mourning Ring, 1899

A Mourning Ring for Edgar, April 12th 1901

The late Victorian period was one of standardisation in social formality. In many ways, having standardisation or a static culture…

Brooches 26.08.2013
Black Enamel Mourning Brooch Gothic Revival In Memory Of

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 08.07.2013
William Harry Vane, 1st Duke of Cleveland 1842 Serpent Ring

William Harry Vane Serpent Mourning Ring

Sometimes a jewel can be the very definition of its time. A ring, worn to be seen and never hidden,…

Rings 27.05.2013
In Memory of a Beloved Child Gothic Revival Ring

In Memory of a Beloved Child Gothic Revival Ring

Thomas Cooper Hawkins was born in 1822 and died on the third of January, 1825. This ring is a memorial…

Brooches 22.04.2013
Sarah 19th Century Brooch

Early 19th Century ‘Sarah’ Brooch

Hosting a name within a jewel was not an uncommon occurrence, as seen in the mourning jewels dating back to…

Lockets 04.03.2013
Edwardian Heart-Shaped Locket

Post-Victorian Lockets and Pendants

The decline of the mourning industry was not exclusively ‘mourning’ related, but an actual change in fashion and social taste….