Usually when we see blond locks within a mourning jewellery item, we realise the mourned loved one is a small child. And it's often true for most of us that, while we might have been blond as a toddler, our hair color changes to darker blond or to brown as we grow to adulthood. The presence of blond hair in this beautiful old Georgian to very earliest Victorian era (c. 1810-40) mourning brooch can't be confirmed to have been that of a child, since we have no engraving to confirm it, and no history on the item, but it is very likely so. Though we know it is the hair of Julia W. Foster, there isn't a date engraved. Mourning has long been an icon-prone emotion, just as other aspects of love have been. We seem, as a species, to want to mark these important and profound life changes and objects of such emotional intensity with talisman we can carry with us into the future. While some may find the mourning jewellery a bit macabre, in fact the history of such items stretches from many centuries ago and is practiced even today. Did you know you can have the cremains (cremation remains) of your lost loved one (or pet) made into a diamond? Yes, it's true. What's that you say? You'll never buy another diamond? Well, in fact all diamonds are the result of organic material of some living thing, so the leap from that to mourning jewellery isn't that far to go, is it. This beautiful large brooch is unique in that it combines both the whitby jet cut gems with the seed pearls. Remember, seed pearls were iconographically the tears of the mourner, so we quite regularly see them in mourning jewellery. Likewise, we see jet used as it was socially mandated in this era to wear only black in the first stages of mourning. To have combined the two is unique, not all that often found, and results here in a beautiful black and white combination. Set in 10k yellow gold, the oversized mourning locket brooch is one you'll love owning and wearing, whether it signifies lost love to you or not. These locket jewellery items are also a wonderful way to capture other memento or sentimental moments, such as perhaps filling one with sand from the beach where you spent your honeymoon. Or a plaiting of hair of both bride and groom at the time of their wedding (presented as a gift), or even the combined locks of baby hair from your own children, interwoven into a pretty and very sentimental plaiting that will become a family heirloom. These need not indicate mourning - think of it as a 'sentimental memento' instead.
Very good to excellent condition, age and type considered. This is a very large oval, more than twice the size of the usual little mourning pins. Over time, a replacement of the old pinback mechanism that would have been original and 10k is noted, and that replacement is done with a latching clasp and pin in 14k gold, as noted in our images. Not a pearl or jet gem missing or damaged, and I see nothing to indicate any of them are not the old originals. Cover glass is clear and undamaged, as well.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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