Rings 15.10.2017
Mourning ring R:R:OB 28 May 1727 AE:23. White enamel, Rococo ribbon band, doves and Georgian heart.

Birds and Hearts: A Mourning Ring for R:R, 28 May 1727

On the surface, this ring shows the simple elements of the Rococo period, which evolved the straight-edged Baroque designs from…

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…

Collecting 03.12.2015
Full-length portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87), standing in mourning costume, with the Royal Arms of Scotland behind; she holds a crucifix in her right hand, a prayer-book in her left, and wears a cross and rosary; behind her are her two ladies; left a scene of her execution

Mourning Jewels: How They Were Worn, Part 1

A question as simple as ‘how was a jewel worn?’ leads to the most complex of answers. The narrative of…

Collecting 01.09.2015
Chased two-colour gold brooch set with carved amethysts in the form of a fruiting mulberry with an enamelled gold ladybird on one leaf. The mulberries are carved on the upper side only.

Jewellery Transition From Death to Life

Stages of mourning are the steps towards reappearance in society. Each stage has its rituals to enable respect and memory…

Rings 29.07.2015
Micromosaic mourning ring, c.1800, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Cameo & Micromosaic Influences in Mourning Jewels

Culturally, the values of Europe differ across small geographic regions. Values in religion, politics, and language all have an impact on the styles of…

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…

Memories 22.06.2015
Miniature of William IV when Duke of Clarence, bust-length, wearing a black coat and waistcoat over a white stock with the sash and star of the Order of the Garter mounted in a gold locket, possibly by Rundell, Bridge & Co., with chased and repoussé Garter emblems and with his crowned initials on the lid, the reverse chased with the badge of the Order of the Bath within the collar and the badge of the Order of the Thistle on a matte ground.

Mourning Fashion & Jewels During William IV

William IV was born William Henry on the 21st of August, 1765, the third son of George III. From the…

Memories 04.05.2015
Pendant, gold, set with a cameo under crystal of George I, England, about 1715

Mourning Fashion & Jewels During George I & II

Between 1714 and 1760, the monarchy under George I and George II created a stable and viable mourning industry that…

Collecting 23.03.2015
AN00435171_001_l

Mourning & Sentimental Jewels of the Georgian Era, An Introduction

“It is said to be peculiar to us, that our villages ape, so minutely, the fashions of our cities; that…

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…

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 02.02.2015
Princess Amelia was the youngest of the fifteen children of George III and Queen Charlotte. She died at the age of 27 after a long period of illness, precipitating her father's descent into insanity.  This ring is part of a set of 52, commissioned by her brother the Prince Regent, later George IV, to mark her life. It is inscribed 'Remember me' and with her initial 'A'. They were made by the Royal goldsmiths, Rundell, Bridge & Rundell.

Princess Amelia Mourning Ring, 1810

Royalty is often the best place to start when finding the most ideal jewel. All of the fashion, the culture…

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…

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….

Collecting 24.11.2014
Richard Redgrave, 1846, "Throwing Off Her Weed"

A  Guide to the Stages of Mourning

Grief is automatically triggered by loss as part of our psychological construction. Mourning, in its most pure form, is a…

Lockets 18.11.2014
edwardian_blueportrait

A Mourning Tour: An Edwardian Miniature c.1910

The Edwardian Era, 1901 to 1910, was one of the primary catalysts to end the mourning industry. When I reference…

Memories 17.11.2014
Brooch in gold and enamel in the form of an enamelled ER VII monogram with a red and green enamelled crown. The crown and the letter R are set with diamonds.

A Mourning Tour: Decline of Mourning

The decline and disappearance of the mourning industry does not have one simple answer. It is a mix of cultural…

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…

Brooches 12.11.2014
"Recuerd" Brooch with Turquoise, Doves and Forget-Me-Nots

A Mourning Tour: A ‘Recuerdo’ Brooch and Mourning/Sentimental Value

‘REGARD’ is a term used for both mourning and sentimental jewels; a term which crossed cultures and was embraced for…

Hairwork 11.11.2014
Victorian Hairwork Fob Chain With Serpent Clasp Heart

A Mourning Tour: The Art of Hairwork Collection

The Art of Hairwork was originally a series of articles written in 2012 as the format of Art of Mourning…

Brooches 10.11.2014
Chalcedony_brooch_front

A Mourning Tour: Chalcedony and Sentimental Brooches in the 19th Century

The 19th century saw a massive swing towards sentimental jewellery, with an industry that could sustain itself through being popular…

Miniatures 02.11.2014
rest in peace 18th century urn mourning pendant

A Mourning Tour: “Rest In Peace” – An 18th Century Mourning Pendant

If ever a jewel was a contradiction in its title, it’s this mourning pendant. “Rest In Peace” is written modestly…

Brooches 29.10.2014
Come Ye Blessed Mourning Ribbon Slide Stuart Crystal Skeleton Cherub

A Mourning Tour: ‘Come Ye Blessed’ – A Memento Mori Ribbon Slide and Memento Mori Evolution

Memento mori and its adaptation into jewellery and accessories is a unique look into how human behaviour and identity. Throughout…

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…

Memories 15.09.2014
Brooch in gold and enamel in the form of an enamelled ER VII monogram with a red and green enamelled crown. The crown and the letter R are set with diamonds.

Decline of Mourning

The decline and disappearance of the mourning industry does not have one simple answer. It is a mix of cultural…

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…

Brooches 04.08.2014
"Recuerd" Brooch with Turquoise, Doves and Forget-Me-Nots

A ‘Recuerdo’ Brooch and Mourning/Sentimental Value

‘REGARD’ is a term used for both mourning and sentimental jewels; a term which crossed cultures and was embraced for…