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This 1930s Black Champleve Enamel Second Year Mourning brooch comes from my late husband's aunt's estate. Born of the Victorian Era, she was not one to cast aside convention and strictly adhered to what was to her traditional Mourning attire. When her husband of 47 years passed she wore black from head to toe for that first year, and in the second she allowed herself to announce to polite society that she was past her year of deep sorrow and continuing with life. This brooch comes from that time in her life, which was 1934..
Created with 4 black enameled forget-me-not flowers and four black enameled leaves sprouting from two stems in gold tone metal. It's leaves and flowers accented by the golden metal it is placed within. These are attached to a gold tone metal starburst like background that is interspersed with symbols of the Holey Trinity, also in gold tone. In the center of the pin encircled by all of this we find one bright flower made of 6 clear 3 mm stones and one clear 5 mm stone in its center. The entire pin measures 1 1/8” long and 1 1/8” wide. The symbolism of the pin was to say in effect, “Life Goes On”.
On the back we see better detail of the construction of the starburst and we note that the pin part of the closure extends over the edge of the brooch by about 1/8th of an inch. Not uncommon in jewelry of this age. The catch works as it should and holds securely.
Overall condition is excellent vintage. All stones are bright and clear with the sparkle that the older quality stones have. (the black you see in my photos is my camera reflecting in them) All enamel is present and in wonderful condition with no chips,cracks or scratches and it still retains the shine it had over 80 years ago. It is now time to pass on these family items to new forever homes.
FYI: Many people today think of the Widow in black for a year or more as a Victorian convention for grieving. However it had not drastically changed until World War II when women took over so many of the jobs that had been done by the men off at war. It was felt that this custom was now depressing for the general populace and the workers themselves. Material for mourning clothing was also harder to get during the war years as so many of the mills were in production for the war effort. These two factors were the driving force behind the changes to this nations customs for the widow in black.
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1930s Champleve Enamel Second Year Mourning Brooch or Pin