Rings 03.01.2017

Princess Amelia Mourning Ring, 1810

Fifty of these rings were ordered from Rundell & Bridge [and Rundell] at 58 shillings each. This ring was acquired by…

Brooches 02.10.2016
Neoclassical mourning jewel showing father and children next to a tomb inscribed 'Alas! She's gone'. In the Heavens is a cherub holding a sign stating 'GLORY'.

Alas! She’s Gone, Part 2

In a connection between a parent and child, the basis of the family is measured by their love and their…

Brooches 25.09.2016
Neoclassical mourning jewel showing father and children next to a tomb inscribed 'Alas! She's gone'. In the Heavens is a cherub holding a sign stating 'GLORY'.

Alas! She’s Gone, Part 1

Personal elements of mourning are individual and unique. There’s no prescribed way of behaving when one is in grief, but…

Miniatures 04.07.2016
Mourning miniature for a child.

A Boy’s Mourning Miniture

The 1800-1820 period in mourning jewels solidified their necessity and identity within social status and culture. The British, French and…

Collecting 13.01.2016
This painted enamel portrait miniature in a gilt metal frame bears a bust portrait of a lady of the French court. She has green eyes and light brown hair and wears white mourning dress. Opinion differs as to her precise identity. The decorative border of interlinked knotted blue S-scrolls surrounding her may give a clue as to who she might be, as may the choice of subject depicted on the back of the medallion. The back is delicately painted in gold with the subject of Moses receiving the tablets of the law from the Old Testament book of Exodus. Sixteenth-century portrait miniatures had their origins in the art of manuscript illumination and were usually painted in watercolour on vellum. The earliest extant painted enamel medallion is probably Netherlandish and can be dated to about 1425. This miniature was however made in Limoges, central France, a town already famed for its earlier champlevé enamel production. Painted enamels, made in Limoges from 1460s, reached an artistic and technical high-point during the sixteenth century. The work was highly-skilled and time-consuming which means that a well-executed portrait medallion such as this was an expensive luxury item made to commission. Though unsigned, the miniature is now considered to have been painted by the skilled Limoges artist Leonard Limosin (c.1505 to c.1575/77) in about 1530-40, at the start of his long career. Limosin is thought to have trained in the Penicaud workshop, and the medallion has previously been attributed to Jean II Penicaud, a known exponent of detailed gold painting. In about 1534, Limosin was invited to the court of Francois I and subsequently divided his time between the court at Fontainebleau and his workshop in Limoges. He later also served Henri II, Francois II and Charles IX. Before 1842, this enamel was owned by the well-known collector, Horace Walpole who claimed that it had once belonged to the mother of King George I, Princess Sophia Maria, Duchess of Hanover (d.1714).

Mourning Fashion in White

The affectation of white in mourning is ubiquitous, and appears throughout the world in funerary and mourning customs. White, the…

Memories 25.05.2015
This ring formed part of a suite of jewels given to Queen Charlotte by the King on their wedding day, 8 September 1761. Charlotte Papendiek records that this ring is set with the ‘likeness of the King in miniature, done exquisitely beautiful for the coin, by our valued friend Jeremiah Meyer’ and was ‘given also to her Majesty to wear on the little finger of the right hand on this auspicious day’. The Queen also received ‘a diamond hoop ring ... a pair of bracelets, consisting of six rows of picked pearls as large as a full pea; the clasps - one his picture, the other his hair and cipher, both set round with diamonds; necklace with diamond cross; earrings, and the additional ornaments of fashion of the day’.

Mourning Fashion & Jewels During George III

Under the reign of George III (25th of October, 1760 – 29th of January, 1820), mourning jewellery and fashion was…