Photography, Part 6

May 20, 2010

These brooches are shown on behalf of Larry West (Tokens of Affection and Regard) . It should be noted that photo-jewellery pricing ranged from $5-$10 (US), with more for tinting and elaborate mounting (as opposed to $50-$250+ for a portrait miniature).

When looking at the civil war ambrotype of the Union soldier (c.1862), this price difference becomes quite a lot more realistic for the middle-class. The cheaper price point, coupled with the relatively new technology of the photograph and the social issues of the time only aided the growth of mourning jewellery during the 19th century. As for the piece itself, West surmises that it Is ‘probably a print of an earlier mourning image, as the photograph is surrounded by a thin black border’.

Judging from the style of the piece itself, brooch is within the bracket of third quarter 19th century style. The mid 19th century brooch also shown is a fine piece with exceptional wide-weave hairwork border, held between the leaf motif. Pieces combining hairwork as part of the jewellery as well as the photograph itself are difficult to find, as opposed to jewels with the hairwork and photograph inside.

Further Reading:

> Photography in Jewellery Part 1
> Photography in Jewellery Part 2
> Photography in Jewellery Part 3
> Photography in Jewellery Part 4
> Photography in Jewellery Part 5
> Photography in Jewellery Part 6
> Photography in Jewellery Part 7

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