Mourning jewelry has existed for centuries, but it wasn't until Queen Victoria's beloved consort, Prince Albert died at the young age of 42 in 1861 that the custom became a wildly popular fashion statement. Generally, Victorians remained in mourning for at least one year, and longer. The women were required to wear black clothing and jewelry to show their respect and love for the deceased. After the end of one year, they were permitted to slowly introduce color into their wardrobes and accessories, with deep blue enamel being a favorite for jewelry.
This little locket is made of 9 karat "back and1 front", where a substantial sheet of solid gold is applied over a base metal. It was a technique that provided a more affordable piece of jewelry for those of the Middle Classes. It has really well preserved cobalt blue enameling as decoration, and woven hair under glass inside. The custom of saving a lock of hair from a lost one was very common, and eventually the process became more elaborate, with the hair being woven or coiled, often by professionals, and kept under glass within a brooch or locket, providing a physical keepsake for one to wear on his or her person in order to continue the tentative connection to the deceased.
A truly fascinating piece of history- and a great starter for your mourning jewelry collection!
Dimensions: 2.4 cm x 1.7cm
Weight: 3.8 grams
Materials: Gold, base metal, enamel, glass, hair
Metal: 9K rolled gold
Condition: Excellent antique condition