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…

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 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…

Lockets 31.03.2014
Skeleton Charles I ring

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…

Lockets 01.07.2013
Charles I Royalist Pendant, Jan 30, 1648

Charles I Royalist Pendant, Jan 30, 1648

Charles I was born on the 19th of November, 1600 and executed on the 30th of January 1649, facing a…

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…

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….

Rings 17.10.2011
Charles I Mourning Ring Front

An Historical Charles I Ring

This piece dedicated to Charles I is a display of affection that would eventually generate the popularity of the mourning…

Lockets 15.07.2011
Charles I Enamel Locket

Charles I Enamel Locket

Collecting is all about historical archiving, keeping these pieces safe for the future and letting as many people learn about…

Rings 20.12.2010
Charles I Mourning Ring Front

Revisiting A Charles I Ring

This piece dedicated to Charles I is a display of affection that would eventually generate the popularity of the mourning…

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Lockets 17.09.2010
Charles I Miniature Pendant with Pearl

Charles I Royalist Pendant with Enamel and Pearl with Discussion

I don’t think there’s enough that I can say about these Charles I pieces. To me, they represent the inception of an industry that certainly was on the verge of being one of the most culturally important movements in modern history, due to its cross-cultural pervasiveness and obvious necessity. Yes, I’m talking about the industry of mourning.

Rings 02.03.2010
Charles I Mourning Ring Front

Spotlight On: Charles I Ring

This piece dedicated to Charles I is a display of affection that would eventually generate the popularity of the mourning…