Victorian mourning jewelry came into fashion when Prince Albert died and Queen Victoria went into a period of mourning that lasted for the rest of her life...40 years. She issued rules of etiquette that included dress codes for all occasions, including mourning, even down to the proper jewelry to wear. Black became the fashion and after a while it was hard to tell where the line between mourning and fashion was drawn.
This antique mourning pin / pendant combines the popularity of black jet (which might have been made of Whitby jet, black glass, or black onyx) with a simple frame and accent of gold-filled metal. The center has a gold leaf with a genuine pearl. The pin is a double-decker with two tiers.
The pin is small...measures 1 1/4 inches across by 1 inch high. The back has both the original ~C~ clasp and an attached bail for a chain so this can be worn as a necklace.
Today, old Victorian mourning jewelry IS in fashion, thanks to the love Victoria had for her Prince. This is a lovely old piece in very good antique condition. Circa 1880s.
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Old Victorian Black Jet Gold-Filled Mourning Pin Brooch Pendant