Victorian 14kt Yellow Gold Seed Pearl and Onyx Mourning Brooch/Pendant (Antique)
The Victorians were not squeamish when it came to death. In fact, it was celebrated. Many people would have jewelry pieces, like this mourning brooch, made to have handed out at their own funerals so that they could be remembered beyond their time here on this earth (If you’d like to read more about the Victorians and their mourning jewelry click here). This particular piece has a little twist – it includes what we think is a piece of the deceased’s funeral attire under glass.
What We Love About It:
The juxtaposition of the creamy seed pearls against the onyx, surrounded by gold flourishes and almost heart-like loops. And then in the center, that mysterious piece of fabric, preserved forevermore.
The piece is both a mourning brooch and a pendant, with an early pin stem on the back and a built-in bale on the back (possibly added later). It has an unusual number of seed pearls – 17 (we usually see these in even numbers) and is backed in onyx with a piece of fabric under an oval crystal. The piece appears to be hollow but is still substantial. It tests at 14kt yellow gold and measures 1-9/16″ (40mm) wide and 1-3/8″ (34mm) tall. It weighs in at 10.47g.
Spooky? We don’t think so. Instead, we see it as a mysterious little piece of history and QUITE the conversation piece.