In de Rouw

Antique demi-parure of brooch & earrings with mourning motif, Netherlands 1889

Mourning jewellery was a recurring companion in the 19th century, as etiquette required it to be worn for certain periods of time depending on the degree of relationship and location. Often hair was used for this purpose, which personalised the jewellery once again and thus kept the memory of a special person alive. Here, the brooch shows an artfully crafted scene made of hair, depicting a gravestone under a weeping willow in the late romantic manner. The inscription on the brooch tells us something about the history of the piece. It commemorates a person who died on May 15, 1889, and who, like the wearer, was probably of Dutch nationality: the inscription reads "J d J / overl[eden] 15. Mei / 1889" (J. d. J., faded on May 15). However, the "d", i.e. "de", of the name does not indicate a title of nobility, because the Dutch "de" is not synonymous with the German nobility predicate "von". Curiously, the earrings with feather motifs made of hair also bear the monogram "C d J". I wonder if the wearer was commemorating her parents here? This must remain hidden in the darkness of history. But it was probably once a wealthy wearer who, when she was in mourning, i.e. "in de rouw", commissioned these works and had them set in gold. A precious wreath of diamonds set in silver frames the miniatures. They are worked in different variations of the historic rose cut, which originated in the Netherlands in the late Middle Ages. In this way, the tradition and culture of remembrance of the 19th century are also evident in the materials.

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.