Faux Friday: Mourning and Sentimental Art Revivals, Part 6

May 7, 2010

Marriages provide the most common identification problems with jewellery. Many 16th and 17th century pieces were added to with 19th century embellishments, but more often than not, the central jewel is consistent. This is across the board with jewellery and not simply relegated to mourning or sentimental pieces. A piece may be added to in order to be worn with current fashion or in order to enhance its sentimentality to the wearer, and often these additions do not detract from the price, but add another level of mystery to a piece.

Mourning jewellery is unique in that an entire family can be held inside a ring or bracelet. A piece constructed in 1780 can have a lifespan of 100 years and be dated in 1870; this is not unusual. As pieces pass through the hands of family members, they are added to, hair mementos may be taken out and replaced, new inscriptions added on the back.

Identifying these pieces can be very difficult and require the collector to make a leap of faith in understanding the history of the piece. They are also difficult for dealers to part with, as many people may assume that they are forgeries.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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

%d bloggers like this: