Popular in the 19th century, mourning jewelry was fashionable to wear after the loss of a loved one. Sometimes, the pieces were made of jet and featured angels, skulls, or other symbols of mourning. The pieces might also incorporate a tiny portrait or lock of the dead person's hair. (See the Victorian hairwork bracelet above.) One of the world's foremost collectors of mourning jewelry is Hayden Peters, whose Art of Mourning site is an incredible resource for "memorial, mourning, sentimental jewellery, and art." The excellent Collectors Weekly recently interviewed Peters about the history of these intriguing artifacts. From The Collectors Weekly:
Collectors Weekly: What are the differences between mourning, memorial, and sentimental jewelry?
Peters: Memorial pieces were made for public events related to a death. Mourning jewelry was usually a little more personal. While several pieces might be made for someone's death, it was still for the family or people close to the deceased.
A skull and a watch both represent the passage of time. This example in verge silver is from around 1780.
The early precursors to mourning jewelry displayed the skull and crossbones and all those memento mori, remember-you-will-die motifs. Shakespeare commissioned mourning rings. But the mourning rings from the 1500s and 1600s the skull and crossbones and those motifs as a statement of living. It meant 'yes, you would be judged at the end, so live your life correctly'. A skull and crossbones was not always about death.
I think that's one reason why sentimental jewelry is the most misunderstood of all jewelry, especially when mourning comes into it. A lot of people think it's morbid and maybe grisly, but it's not. Honoring someone's life with a piece of mourning jewelry is one of the most beautiful things you can do for somebody. I can't stand the negative connotations. And sometimes it's hard to differentiate whether a piece is for mourning the death of a loved one or just a token of affection.
"An Interview with Antique Mourning Jewelry Collector Hayden Peters"
Fox News pundit Sean Hannity’s “Secret Life” is exposed in this week’s ‘Globe’ in a cover story under the banner “World Exclusive!”
Yoko Eda, a recent grad from Musashino Art University's Science of Design department, has produced a series of gorgeous, hyperealistic acrylic paintings showing everyday objects (glue bottles, toothpaste tubes, packages of plastic tubs, cleaning brushes, boxes of matches, lip balm tubes) sliced and arrayed like sashimi. Spoon and Tamago has lots more of Eda's outstanding […]
The only thing worse than a horrific tragedy is a horrific tragedy from which nothing decent is salvaged. Florida's youth voter registration is up 41% since the Parkland shooting and the ensuing Republican Party indifference to mass-murder and open contempt for young gun-control advocates. Florida is the nation's largest swing state. 2018 is an election […]
Summer’s here, which brings not only warmer weather but also the unsettling realization that the year is more than halfway over. So, for those who weren’t as productive as they would have liked during the first half of 2018, we’ve rounded up 5 skill course bundles you can start learning today to help you finish […]
It’s good to be proactive, but when it comes to preparing for an emergency situation, one of the most important items you can pack is a flashlight. After all, whatever else you include in your kit won’t be of much use if you can’t see what you’re doing. The Viper 1000-Lumen Tactical Flashlights not only […]
Chances are you took a handful of language classes in high school, and aside from a smattering of conjugations and vocabulary words, the only things you likely remember are the dry, rehearsed sentences that did little to make you speak like a true native. If you’re still hoping to learn a new language but want […]