Something of you remains here

Georgian mourning brooch of gold, enamel, hair & glass pastes, ca. 1790

In past centuries, death was still omnipresent. Life expectancy was low and the confrontation with an early demise was as present as it was unavoidable. Jewellery had a deep symbolic meaning in this context. Its special role in the area of death, mourning and commemoration can be traced back to the earliest times. A multitude of rules and norms of behavior were intended to ease the grief of the bereaved and to satisfy society's standards of decency. According to the degree of kinship, mourning times were meticulously determined during which special clothing was to be worn. The mourning clothes also included specially made jewellery whose forms and symbolic contents changed over the centuries. Here we see a brooch from around 1790, which shows an inlay of human hair in a frame of blue enamel. Superimposed on the weave of hair is an intricately sawn cartouche of red gold showing an urn in an oval frame. This urn, which has always been a symbol of mourning, distinguishes this piece of jewelry from similarly designed friendship gifts of those years and clearly identifies it as a piece of mourning jewelry. An impressive framing of glass pastes surrounds the blue enamel rim with soft sparkle. Elaborately faceted and backed with foil, the glass stones were given the same treatment as the diamond, which was much rarer at the time. Here, the glass pastes were set just like diamonds, in pinched settings (so-called "collet settings") of silver. The darkening of the silver was already taken into account, because this makes the stones shine even brighter in contrast. The back of the brooch is covered with red gold so that the silver does not rub off on skin or clothing. Like the diamonds of their time, the glass pastes were also cut in a cushion shape. The flat calette that characterizes the old diamond cut was accentuated by a black dot. This is also referred to as "black dot paste". In this way, the stones wrap around the jewelry with a brilliant shine. The brooch from the reign of George III found us in London and is the beautifully preserved.

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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.

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