Mourning jewelry has existed for centuries, but it wasn't until Queen Victoria's beloved consort, Prince Albert died at the young age of 42 in 1861 that the custom became a wildly popular fashion statement. Generally, Victorians remained in mourning for at least one year, and longer. The women were required to wear black clothing and jewelry to show their respect and love for the deceased. It became common for the family to commission mourning pieces to wear, and give them as remembrance gifts at the funeral.
This mourning brooch is made of 9 karat yellow gold, framing a black enamel scene with a white urn (representing the deceased's final resting place), and a golden weeping willow tree (representing sorrow). Both the urn and the willow are well-known symbols of grief during the Regency and Victorian Eras. With beautifully intact enamel, it is a fine example of mourning jewelry that was made for extended relatives and friends. The reverse is inscribed in flowing script with the initials "AON", the only clue we have left of the person who lived long ago in another time!
Weight: 6.8 grams
Materials: 9K yellow gold, black, white & gold enamel
Marks: Inscribed on reverse: "AON"
Condition: Excellent antique condition
9K, Black, White & Gold Enamel Mourning Brooch