Jewel of the day: Georgian Mourning Ring

Happy Halloween! To keep the jewellery in the general them, here is a sweet mourning ring, made in 1780 of gold and platinum and what looks like black enamel surrounding an ivory engraving of an urn.

The motto is “J.L. Vivra Dans Mon Coeur”, presumably dedicated to the memory of the late J.L. and noting he or she will live on in the wearer’s heart.

Mourning was commemorated in dress and and jewellery, often using visuals of urns, weeping willow trees, hearts, and various mottos. Black was the favoured colour, using enamel, Whitby jet, glass and onyx. Hair was also used as a material, though hair jewellery became its own craze during the Victorian period, unrelated to mourning.

This piece is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, though not on view. The museum did just launch a small exhibit, entitled Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire.

May your Halloween be more festive than mournful!

Met Museum Mourning Ring

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.