Lockets 30.05.2016
Woven hair pendant, early 19th century

Hair Buckle / Garter Pendant

The simplicity and sentimentality of hairwork cannot be understated. It is a material that is intrinsic to only one individual…

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…

Accessories 03.10.2015
A French chatelaine of cut steel, c. 1770-1780, with oval glazed compartment, one side showing initials in hair (FJC) on an ivory background, the other with a wheat sheaf, also from hair on ivory, showing three broken stalks and three birds in flight above. The top has a swivel spring clip, the bottom has an oval cut steel medallion attached to a second swivel spring clip. The links are attached with faceted split rings. There are two side bell caps; whatever was there originally is now missing- perhaps seals? There are holes around the tops of the decorative twist on the caps- perhaps something was pinned inside? Very good condition, hairwork is pristine, end of steel medallion missing half of small finial, one steel facet missing at 6 o’clock on the wheat sheaf side surround. Some rust, mostly to bottom medallion. Measures 10” long; the glazed compartment measures 3/4” x 5/8”.

The Chatelaine, Function and Sentimentality

Tokens of affection aren’t simply baubles that are transient, they are often useful accessories that hold a memory within their daily…

Accessories 08.12.2014
Fidèle jusque a la Mort. Enamel Slide, 18th Century

Faithful Until Death, A Perfect Enamel Slide

The custom of marriage and how human relationships can form a life-long union is a primal instinct in our identity….

Rings 03.11.2014
French Neoclasscal Sepia Mourning Ring

A Mourning Tour: French Neoclassical Sepia/Hair Mourning Ring

1788; the colonisation of Australia, South Carolina ratifies the United States constitution to become the seventh state, the first edition…

Art 16.06.2014
French Hair Mourning Art from the 19th Century

French Hair Art & The Industry of Mourning

“Hair is at once the most delicate and lasting of our materials and survives us like love. It is so…

Rings 10.03.2014
French Neoclasscal Sepia Mourning Ring

French Neoclassical Sepia/Hair Mourning Ring

1788; the colonisation of Australia, South Carolina ratifies the United States constitution to become the seventh state, the first edition…

Rings 25.11.2013

“Dead to the world” French Mourning Ring, December 18, 1787

Historical sentimentality, regardless of era, culture or status still relies on the very nature of love and loss. A relationship…

Rings 10.06.2013
French heart and hand ring

French Heart and Crown Ring, 18th Century

Tokens of love and sentimentality, given for betrothal or for the intention of affection are designed to be opulent through…

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 18.01.2013
Belle d'Armour Pendant French Hairwork 19th Century

Belle D’Amour Hairwork Pendant

The remarkable quality of French jewels is their ability to reflect a great variety of cultural influence and present an…

Lockets 21.12.2012
Black Enamel French Mourning Locket

Rien Sans Amitie, Cabochon Garnet French Mourning Locket

By the time this piece became popular in fashionable styles, the ‘magical’ property of gems had started to permeate through…

Lockets 12.12.2012
Georgian Heart Crystal Pendant 18th Century Ribbon French

French Ribbon Pendant, 18th Century

Here, the ribbon motif is used in grand style to accommodate the heart shape within, however, the heart is missing…

Miniatures 09.11.2012
Neoclassical Mouning Miniature

Circular Neoclassical Mourning Miniature

The French adoption of mourning and sentimental symbolism differed from the necessity of the British. While Court mandates enforced multiple…

Accessories 07.10.2012
Sepia French Fob

Le Plus Loin Le Plus Serre, Watch Fob

  Maureen DeLorme’s ‘Mourning Art and Jewelry’ has a fine description for this piece of page 106: “An extraordinary example…

Rings 28.05.2012
Love Survives With Death Divides Ring

Love Survives With Death Divides in a Ring

Love, sentimentality and mourning became a personal thing during the late 18th century, something facilitated by the humanist Neoclassical movement….

Rings 20.02.2012
Louis XIV Memento Mori Intaglio Ring

Louis XIV Memento Mori Intaglio Ring

This ring is a fine example of French memento mori jewellery and is a wonderful contrast to the English style…

Lockets 19.10.2011

A Grand Statement in an Early Pendant

Often when appraising jewels, it’s easy to lose sight of their fashionable purpose, of promoting an aesthetic that is beautiful…

Miniatures 19.08.2011

Once Upon a Time in the WWW

Once upon a time in a land far, far away there was a most exquisite pendant…. This story is about…

Rings 13.07.2011
Louis XVI Royalist Supporter French Ring

Louis XVI Royalist Supporter French Ring

Excuse me while I marvel at this gem – please tell the crowd all about it, Barbara: “this is Royalist…

Rings 08.07.2011
Watering Can Ring French Sepia c.1780s

Watering Can Symbolism in a French Sepia Ring

From the collection of the always wonderful Barbara Robbins comes this very interesting ring! Take it away, Barbara: “This one…

Miniatures 06.05.2011
Le Plus Loin Le Plus Serre Mourning Pendant

The Further the Distance the Tighter the Knot; Eternity and Romantic Symbolism on a French Sepia Miniature

I was going to write about more about memento mori today, but with presenting such lovely and emotionally charged pieces…

Art 17.12.2010
1883 French Hair Art

1883 French Hair Art

Another perfect example of French hair art and a wonderful companion piece to the 1851 artwork previously shown on the…

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Art 30.11.2010
French 1851 Hair Art / Memorial

Magnificent 1851 French Hairwork Art

This sublime and elegant work still has the original maker’s details and appears almost untouched by age. The thick curls…

Lockets 09.10.2010
Le Plus Loin Le Plus Serre Mourning Pendant

The Further the Distance the Tighter the Knot; Eternity and Romantic Symbolism on a French Sepia Miniature

Symbolism and beauty are two words to describe this French piece. The two birds (winged souls) tying together the knot of eternity and love as the ship is sailing away from the castle on top of a cliff face. The boat can be taken as a literal interpretation of sentimental distance, or as the passage of a soul towards the afterlife, however as the boat shows its passage towards the horizon, then one can expect that the symbolism falls into the latter. When combined with the eternity knot, the sentiment of love shows a love forever unbroken despite any figurative distance.

Lockets 03.07.2010

Spotlight On: Early 19th Century Red Enamel Sentimental Pendant

For a collector of the memorial and sentimental, it’s quite common to find white, black and blue enamels, but when…

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…

Accessories 29.04.2010
French Mourning Set

Spotlight On: Sets

19th Century French and German mourning sets are still available and complete today (if one looks hard enough) and consist…