Monday, April 12, 2010

My Collection: Symbols of Joy - Love - Loss - Memorials & Mourning

This is a reprint from an earlier blog roll - I hope you enjoy.

This is a Hair Wreath framed in a large Victorian shadow box frame. I believe this to be more of a Family Memorial Wreath (a family tree but in hair) because of all the different colors of hair, although there are a few flowers that have black beads incorporated into the designs.

This is a small sampling of what is in my jewelry box (well not necessarily a jewelry box - this was an old flatware service box that we revamped for the purpose of holding some of my collection.
This bracelet was made in such a way that it will stretch.   Kind of like the stretchy trendy little beaded bracelets you find nowadays - but there is no elastic in this bracelet - just the way it was woven. Black enamel under the flower decoration, so this was most likely a mourning piece.
This is a beautiful little rose gold ring that has hair incorporated into the band. The initials AEL are inscribed on the crest on top.
This is an amazing set of earrings that are in need of some jet stones replaced. These are hand cut faceted stones so are very hard to replace, I could replace them with some modern black glass, but the look wouldn't be right, so.....In the little half moon area there is a woven mat of hair under the glass - which is actually Rock Crystal. Very Victorian and very much a Mourning piece.
This is an amazing little piece, as you can see by this side there is three colors of hair - the salt and pepper around the edge - the braided in the middle -then if you look close enough there is a fine mat underneath.
Now on the back there is four different colors - auburn around edge - salt and pepper entwined with a lighter brown - then another dark brown matte underneath this.
The initials RWC to NA.
This little brooch is done similar to the hair wreath, but in miniature. This little gem only measures about 1 inch in diameter.
This is a wonderful little babies bracelet with a coral cameo. With the Victorians everything had a meaning - symbolism in objects - - flowers, names, colors, gems - as with coral being used in this bracelet the mother believed that she was helping to protect her baby from illness and disease.
This is a puffed cross pendant, (view the above picture of the full necklace) I have no idea as to how the Victorians made this. The book (reprint) The Art of Hair Work by Mark Campbell has numerous patterns if anyone wants to try their hand.
These are small brooches, the two smaller ones on the top and left have tiny seed pearls around the beazels. The one with a cross over an open weave of hair is inscribed on back: M. M. Died April 10th 1858.
This is another teeny weensy brooch with hair under rock crystal and beautiful seed pears surrounding.
My most recent find: This is what you would call a Flipper/Swivel Brooch. The photograph of the man is a tintype and you can swivel it around on its axes to reveal hair on the other side.
This is the woven mat of hair on the other side: just swivel it around and it can be worn in front.

I hope you have enjoyed my small collection and please don't forget to read the earlier blog on the history behind the Victorians marvelous little works of art.


Gracie's Cottage said...

Your collection is amazing....and great photos too!

VictorianCobweb said...

Thank you! Most every piece was bought by my loving husband and I cherish them one and all.

Olivia said...

I absolutely love the mourning jewelry. I think it was a great symbol of love and affection. Yet, just a beautiful art. Thank you for sharing these wonderful gems.

Anonymous said...

I loved this post, the mourning plaque was facinating, would love to know more about this kind of art.

FrenchGardenHouse said...

I love these. I have a few, and have sold some, but your collection is amazing. xo Lidy