Tuesday, July 10, 2012
I splurged and bought myself a new piece of mourning jewelry. It is the darling of my collection now, and I think you can see why. I am pretty sure it is the oldest piece of jewelry I own (1849), although I might have a couple other things that come close. I love the color of the hair, the beveled glass compartment, the acanthus leaves engraved around the border and the garter motif.
Every time I look at this brooch a wave of emotion comes over me. Whoever commissioned this back in the mid-1800s did so with a full, loving heart for someone. What was the relationship between the person who gave the lock of hair and the wearer? A husband and wife? A mother and daughter? Impossible to know. What I do know is that other mourning pieces I own do not have the same effect on me. This piece is powerful and full of memory.
P.S. Do you see how the pin extends beyond the edge of the piece? And how the hinge is tube shaped? These are both clues that the piece is from the 1800s, since these characteristics fell out of style in the late Victorian period. If you see these elements on a brooch and the price and condition is right, grab it up!
P.P.S. I bought this on ebay. Usually, bidding on ebay for mourning pieces is very competitive and the prices go quite high. I don't stand a chance! But this was one of those "or best offer" deals that ended up working out. Pretty lucky.