Accessories 21.04.2016
Tiepin with a miniature of a lady's eye, 1900-10

Miniature Eye Tie Pin

Reverence for history and a passion to relive it are facets to the fascination of a collector. Because we love…

Brooches 14.04.2016
Openwork gold, enamelled in black set with diamonds and pearls, with pearls and diamond pendants

A French Black Enamel Brooch, c.1860

Global inspiration for jewellery design reflected colonisation and increased global transit that could share cultural art and values. The oriental route had…

Memories 29.02.2016
Gold brooch or pin with an enamelled gold frame, ivory painted in watercolour with a miniature of a woman seated by a tomb beneath a willow with hair in design

1760-1800, Neoclassicism in Mourning Jewels

Facing the ideals of the Enlightenment and a new appreciation for classical history, the period between 1760 and 1800 created…

Rings 01.12.2014
forget-me-not ring, sentimental, blue enamel, cobalt, diamond, rose

Love, Flowers and Diamonds Create a Perfect Ring

Floral motifs in the late 18th century mark a change in symbolic and mourning practice. Even more than just for…

Brooches 04.11.2014
REGARD pin with turquoise

A Mourning Tour: The Georgian “REGARD” Brooch

Jewellers and goldsmiths who had a close proximity to the crown benefitted from the attention and fame that their patronage…

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 07.04.2014
REGARD pin with turquoise

The Georgian “REGARD” Brooch

Jewellers and goldsmiths who had a close proximity to the crown benefitted from the attention and fame that their patronage…

Brooches 13.01.2014
Blue Enamel Eternity Hair Twist Diamond Diasy Neoclassical Brooch

‘EH’ Hair, Enamel, Diamond, Eternal Love Brooch

There are two sides to every sentimental jewel; one is in how personal it is and the other is in…

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…

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 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…

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,…

Lockets 01.05.2013
Georgian Heart REGARD Pendant 18th Century

Georgian Heart REGARD Locket

Every jewel is a remarkable monument to its time, its fashion, its very personality. Sentimental jewels are the embodiment of…

Rings 12.04.2013
18th Century French Ring

French Sentimentality Captured in an 18th Century Ring

“For You All Alone” (“Pour Vous Tout Seule”) is a sentiment that equates not only to the message of love…

Lockets 08.02.2013
Gothic Revival Locket Diamond Forget Me Not

Gothic Revival Meets Rococo Revival in this Stunning Locket, 1834

By 1834, all the elements of the Gothic Revival had entered mainstream fashion and was directly responsible for jewels like…

Brooches 10.08.2012
Hand Flower 19th Century Brooch

Holding on to a 19th Century Brooch

The floral motif that is so prevalent on this jewel is very important to factor in its age, particularly when…

Rings 18.05.2012
The Forget Me Not Blue Enamel Diamond Ring Navette

Diamond Navette Ring, Late 18th Century

The combination of blue enamel and diamonds aren’t a coincidence, there are intrinsic links in their symbolism and meaning that…

Rings 09.05.2012
1792 Blue Enamel Mourning Ring

Blue Enamel, Diamond Mourning Ring, 1797

If ever a jewel was designed for its materials, then this certainly fits the description. There is much to explain…

Rings 27.04.2012
Georgian Diamond Urn Ring fede

18th Century Diamond Fede Ring

There are a confluence of techniques and symbols that involve this ring, elements that need to be understood in order…

Rings 25.04.2012
Georgian Diamond Urn Ring

Amazing Georgian Diamond Urn Ring

There are many elements to this ring that put it in a specific spot in time. Let’s take a moment…

Rings 22.02.2012
1699 Mourning Ring

J Scotts, 1699 Mourning Ring

By the end of the 18th century, there began a standardisation of styles in memorial jewellery that drew itself from…

Lockets 02.11.2011

Recovery and Regard in an Opulent Pendant

You’ll have to forgive this Jewellery Historian and Halloween fun. You know, when you deal with such a morbid subject…

Rings 03.06.2011
Amethyst Ring Mary Wooley OB: 8 April 1765 AE: 64

The Diamonds, Amythest and Colours of Mary Wooley OB: 8 April 1765 AE: 64 in a Ring

My dear jewellery historians, what is it that strikes you about this ring on first appearance? Look at it carefully…

Rings 10.09.2010
3 Member Family Mourning Ring, Blue Enamel

3 Members of a Family Mourning Ring with Diamond and Blue Enamel

Year: Easter Morn, April 5th, 1874 / August 2, 1869 / 1870 Dedication: “Papa” A. Lowe / M.M Lowe /…

Other 09.05.2010

LifeGem, Turning Your Loved Ones to Diamonds

While not a terribly new phenomenon, I do get asked about this quite a bit. LifeGem has had quite a…

Art 02.05.2010

Cause For Concern?

Now, here is a piece that has caused a lot of distress to many people in the past. If you’re…