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…

Memories 06.07.2015
A gold mourning brooch with black and white enamel frame set with circular miniature of Queen Victoria wearing the riband of the Order of the Garter

Mourning Fashion & Jewels During Victoria

Victoria’s reign from the 20th of June, 1837 to the 22nd of January, 1901 was the height and decline of the…

Uncategorized 16.03.2015

Hairwork, An Introduction

Often, the question is asked ‘how do I find more out about hairwork jewellery?’ Hair is one of the most…

Rings 02.03.2015
Memorial ring in gold and black enamel, the bezel containing a microphotograph, reversed, of the Prince Consort in 1861, which is attributed to J.J.E. Mayall. The cypher linking the initials 'V' and 'A' in white enamel is set into the shanks on either side of the bezel

Victoria’s Photographic Mourning Ring for Albert, 1861

Love doesn’t require historical importance, nor does it an emotion that requires a single catalyst to happen. It is shared…

Brooches 26.01.2015
Goldfields brooch with foliate design, 1855 - 1865

Colonial Australian Sentimental Jewels

Opportunity is a natural aspect to human advancement. Circumstances that are created by governments and politics may be harmful to…

Bracelets 12.01.2015
20th century charm bracelet in silver

Charms, Chains and Bracelets

Charm bracelets defy the typical aesthetic convention of wrist jewellery, due to their ability to adapt, grow and completely contradict…

Lockets 25.12.2014
faithhopecharity_pendant1

Faith, Hope and Charity

The allegory of faith, hope and charity are important symbols of the early modern period, becoming prominent from the late…

Textiles 16.11.2014
Object Type  Painted panels depicting family members with the symbols of birth, death and marriage were a common way of commemorating significant rites of passage. They acted as reminders to the living of their own mortality and were often handed down through later generations as heirlooms. The folding panels in this example emphasise the intimate nature of the object.  Subjects Depicted  The panels include several references to the passing of time and the fragility of life, as well as the events of marriage and death. On the left exterior panel are figures representing youth and age. On the right are two inscriptions, each incorporating a visual pun or 'rebus', in which a picture or figure represents a name, word or phrase. Here Christ is represented by a painted figure and the clock dial completes the inscription 'We Must' by representing the words 'Die All'.  Dress  Henry and Dorothy Holme are dressed in the style of the well-to-do merchant class rather than the height of fashion. While their garments are quite plain they could clearly afford the luxury of lace accessories. Henry's ruff and cuffs are trimmed with fine imported needle lace. His wife's are trimmed with bobbin lace of a typically English pattern. Broad-brimmed beaver hats, such as Dorothy wears, were popular with country gentlewomen and women of the merchant class.  Costume provides a clue to the sex of the children in this portrait. Boys up to the age of about 7 were dressed like little girls, wearing skirts known as petticoats. To differentiate them from girls the bodice part of their costume took the form of a man's doublet. Little girls typically wore an embroidered cap, or 'coif', and an apron with a bib. Long narrow strips of fabric known as leading strings are attached to both the children's sleeves. These were used to guide children as they learned to walk.

A Mourning Tour: Children in Mourning

A child in mourning is the ultimate symbol of family grief. The child is what carries forward a memory and…

Lockets 13.11.2014
French St Esprit Necklace

A Mourning Tour: French Saint Esprit Dove Necklace

During the Rococo period of the 18th century, much of the most ornate and elaborate jewellery was created. Rococo as a…

Rings 06.11.2014
Mourning Ring, 18ct Gold and Enamel, Hallmarked London 18ct Gold Dated 1827 inscribed with "Wm (William) Wrightson ob 26 Dec. 1827 At 75"

A Mourning Tour: In Memoriam / In Memory Of Rings, 19th Century

Black enamel bands are the most recognised of mourning jewels, being placed in very visible positions for others to see,…

Rings 26.10.2014

A Mourning Tour: Posie Rings

Posie rings, otherwise known as ‘poesy’, ‘posy’ or ‘posey’, are one of the primary catalysts for the mourning and sentimental…

Textiles 08.09.2014
Object Type  Painted panels depicting family members with the symbols of birth, death and marriage were a common way of commemorating significant rites of passage. They acted as reminders to the living of their own mortality and were often handed down through later generations as heirlooms. The folding panels in this example emphasise the intimate nature of the object.  Subjects Depicted  The panels include several references to the passing of time and the fragility of life, as well as the events of marriage and death. On the left exterior panel are figures representing youth and age. On the right are two inscriptions, each incorporating a visual pun or 'rebus', in which a picture or figure represents a name, word or phrase. Here Christ is represented by a painted figure and the clock dial completes the inscription 'We Must' by representing the words 'Die All'.  Dress  Henry and Dorothy Holme are dressed in the style of the well-to-do merchant class rather than the height of fashion. While their garments are quite plain they could clearly afford the luxury of lace accessories. Henry's ruff and cuffs are trimmed with fine imported needle lace. His wife's are trimmed with bobbin lace of a typically English pattern. Broad-brimmed beaver hats, such as Dorothy wears, were popular with country gentlewomen and women of the merchant class.  Costume provides a clue to the sex of the children in this portrait. Boys up to the age of about 7 were dressed like little girls, wearing skirts known as petticoats. To differentiate them from girls the bodice part of their costume took the form of a man's doublet. Little girls typically wore an embroidered cap, or 'coif', and an apron with a bib. Long narrow strips of fabric known as leading strings are attached to both the children's sleeves. These were used to guide children as they learned to walk.

Children in Mourning

A child in mourning is the ultimate symbol of family grief. The child is what carries forward a memory and…

Miniatures 18.08.2014
French Mourning Miniature and mother on February 22nd, 1787, age 11 years, 4 months and 22 days.”

A French Mourning Pendant in 1787 For A Child

One of the most difficult concepts to gasp when identifying and appreciating mourning jewels is trying to separate the emotional…

Lockets 11.08.2014
French St Esprit Necklace

French Saint Esprit Dove Necklace

During the Rococo period of the 18th century, much of the most ornate and elaborate jewellery was created. Rococo as a…

Accessories 26.05.2014
Mourning Stickpin With Coffin and Male, c.1780

A Coffin & A Male In A Stickpin. 18th Century

Creating the connection between mortality and fashion in historical jewels often leads to the literal interpretation. While many historical jewels…

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 16.09.2013
Mourning Ring, 18ct Gold and Enamel, Hallmarked London 18ct Gold Dated 1827 inscribed with "Wm (William) Wrightson ob 26 Dec. 1827 At 75"

In Memoriam / In Memory Of Rings, 19th Century

Black enamel bands are the most recognised of mourning jewels, being placed in very visible positions for others to see,…

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 17.04.2013
17th Century Memento Mori Posy Ring

“Let virtue Rule Affection” Posie/Poesy Ring

Here, we see popular art and design have its influence on a posie ring and announce a change in sentimental…

Rings 15.04.2013
17th Century Posy Ring

“Let’s Live and Die In Unity” – A Perfect Sentiment in a Ring

Posie/poesy rings are the mostly insightful pieces of jeweller for interpersonal relationships of the 16th and 17th centuries. In a…

Rings 10.04.2013
18th Century Fede Ring

Hold Hands With This Beautiful Fede Ring

The unified hands of this fede ring tell a tale which is intrinsically beautiful to its existence. The passage of…

Rings 05.04.2013
18th Century Posy Ring

“In Christ and Thee My Comfort Be” Posie/Poesy Ring

Rings that define a relationship are often linked to the sanctity of religious piety, as that is the covenant that…

Rings 03.04.2013
18th Century Posy Ring

“Be true in hart” and Honour a Posie/Poesy Ring

‘Be true in hart’ is a sentiment that is important for its message towards a loved one for many reasons….

Rings 01.04.2013
18th Century Posy Ring White Enamel

“God forever bless us together” A White Enamel Posy Ring

White enamel is the symbol for virginity and purity, its context is predominantly used for the death of a child…

Rings 29.03.2013
18th Century Posy Ring

A Good Life and a Happy Death in a Posie/Poesy Ring

The Athenian Solon (638 BCE – 558 BCE) wrote that “True blessedness consisteth in a good life and a happy…

Rings 25.03.2013
17th Century Posy Ring

“Hearts United Live Contented” 17th Century Posie Ring

‘Hearts United Live Contented’ is a sentiment that resonates through posie rings and sentimental jewels from the early modern period…

Rings 22.03.2013
17th Century Posy Ring

‘Let vertue bee a guide’ 17th Century Posie Ring

As seen in this previous article ‘Posie Rings From the 17th Century‘, posie rings are identified predominantly by their inscriptions….

Rings 20.03.2013

Posie Rings From the 17th Century

Posie rings, otherwise known as ‘poesy’, ‘posy’ or ‘posey’, are one of the primary catalysts for the mourning and sentimental…

Rings 20.01.2012
Forget me not Victorian ring australia melbourne

Australian Sentimental Forget-Me-Not 19th Century Ring

From Melbourne Australia and dating to around 1880, this ring benefited from the booming gold rush, as can be felt…