Antique Victorian 12K Gold & Black Enamel Mourning Pin/Brooch - Dated 1843
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AGE: Engraving at the back of the pin is 1843 so possibly made in that year or the year after.
ITEM: A rose gold Victorian mourning pin featuring a lock of hair on the underside of the center oval glass, The glass is held in place with a gold oval rim, a black enamel surround and another gold oval rim. Written on the back of the pin is "Aidan Clark Obt Nov. 26, 1843 Aged 21 Years Maria Clark." Sounds like a In Memoriam - Memento Mori pin for a mother holding onto a reminder of her lost son. Simple c-catch at the back to hold the pinstem in place.
CONDITION: Interesting to say the least. I thought that, like most mourning pins, the smaller rim holding the glass section would open to extract the hair so imagine my surprise when the front section popped out from the LARGER gold rim. At any rate, this makes for an easy removal of the front section so that the inside hair can be removed and replaced with something else. Looking at the back of the large oval, the piece has never been glued or soldered into the main section - this may need to be done in order to keep the top section firmly shut.
METAL CONTENT: The top rose gold tests at 12K however in looking on the side, it appears the gold is an overlay over a gold filled material.
HALLMARKS: None that I can spot.
SIZE: 1-7/16" x 1-3/16". Inner oval (viewable area) is 13/16" x 1/2".
WEIGHT: 8.6 grams
FINAL COMMENTS: With a little TLC - this lovely pin can take pride of place in a mourning jewelry collection! Engraved and dated pieces are the hardest to find and this really is a wonderful example of Victorian sentimentality.
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