Mourning Jewelry

I’ve always been interested in mourning jewelry, and Victorian etiquette surrounding death. During the nineteenth century, strict periods of mourning were observed following bereavement. Widows were expected to dress in black for a year and a day after her husband’s death, wearing minimal matt black ornaments.

Gradually, widows were allowed to wear more elaborate mourning jewelry, then diamonds and pearls, and finally a return to colored stones. Mourning and sentimental jewelry typically incorporates hair, usually either in a medallion or braided into a watch-chain or bracelet strap.

I recently purchased black (and white) horsehair, with the intention of creating some pieces of commemorative and mourning jewelry. Here is an image of the first piece that I have finished. I’m excited about the monochromatic color scheme as well as the hints of red from the pearl silk.

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