Rings 06.08.2015
Silver gilt ring, the applied bezel with a heart between two death's heads. The hoop engraved with a worm and inscribed in black letter + iohes godefroy

The Earliest Mourning Ring

Discovering a beginning is the true way to understand the very essence of a concept. Mourning, at its core, is about…

Accessories 23.02.2015
This mourning buckle contains panels of woven hair, decorated with an elaborate inscription in gold thread and a small enamelled skull, all set behind rock crystal. The inscription, partly in latin, tells us that the piece commemorates Elizabeth Harman who died on 11 April 1698, aged 27.

Mourning Shoe Buckles and Fashion

As with any piece of fashion accessory, if it could be introduced into the mourning industry, it would be. 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,…

Rings 13.10.2011
c.1680-1700 Memento Mori Mourning Ring

How Society Entered Mourning: c.1680-1700 Memento Mori Mourning Ring

I’ve written quite a bit about memento mori, it seems to be one of those subjects that is as fascinating…

Is It, Or Isn't It? 29.08.2011
Mento Mori Skull Pin Ruby Eyes

Adding Some Flesh to a Skull & Crossbones Pin

It’s always the odd one out. Among the more common questions I receive at Art of Mourning revolve around the…

Rings 31.10.2010
Ellen Savage ob 16 Oct 1745 Memento Mori Ring

Spooky! Skeletal Rings, Memento Mori and the Evolution of the Symbol

For today’s look at a series of skeletal rings, I’m going to focus on the period of c.1700-c.1740 and take…

Rings 30.09.2010
c.1680-1700 Memento Mori Mourning Ring

How Society Entered Mourning: c.1680-1700 Memento Mori Mourning Ring

have lost their enamel inlay and are quite worn down, but this one is a perfect representation of how it was from when it was constructed. Note the Baroque influence in the design and how this would influence pieces of contemporary and later times. Particularly, the society in which this ring was created was dealing with the new found stability in the government due to the Restoration and from this, industry was finding new ways to create a niche in producing items for a society that was becoming upwardly mobile in ways that had not been seen since the Roman era. Appropriating popular art styles, such as that of the all-pervasive Baroque, and using its influence in products was (and still is) only a logical step in simply selling an item.