Antique Victorian Mourning Brooch, Enamel on 12k Gold - Hair locket, c. 1840-60

A beautiful example of the 'sentimental' or mourning jewelry of the Victorian era, on the heels of the practice from Georgian times and earlier, when it was in fashion to 'entomb' a lock of your dearly departed's hair within the jewelry to remember them and keep them close. The brooch you see here is a lovely old one, early Victorian to perhaps as early as late Georgian, and it's a beautifully enameled 12k gold wonder that is still complete with the original plaiting of hair within. Macabre? Some may think so, but think of your baby book, or that of your child and you'll have a better connection with how lovingly these people felt about the sentimental jewelry such as this. It represented the joy of having loved, as well as the sadness that is the backside of same, and did so in such a stunning manner. I like the idea of it, and we collect these as well as offer them as often as we can find fine old ones.

Very good condition, no damage to the enamel or to the beveled cover glass and the original dark blond lock of plaited hair remains within, fully intact as it was originally. No engraving to hint at the mourned, but the fine quality of the piece is evidence of both some wealth and also deep sentiment. The brooch pin appears to have been replaced or reset at some time and is all that keeps this one from being excellent, firm as it is. Yes, you can lift the compartment out and replace the lock of hair with that from your own loved one, should you wish to carry on the tradition of sentimental jewelry within your own family.

Item ID: 810hairpn3

$265 $226 USD SALE

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Antiques & Uncommon Treasure


Susan Dean, San Marcos, CA   

Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European

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