Parnell Mourning Ephemera

August 18, 2010

In this fine embossed and die cut (with delicate fretwork) example from 1882, the quality, care and symbolism is the epitome of its time. With two angels weeping and the face of Jesus in between, its religious significance is undeniable. The cypress tree and the willow among the graveyard (sorrow and hope) are beautifully tied together with the form of the card.

Its inscription is personal and this piece is of the highest quality for a card of its type. To the 1880s, the size and usage of a card like this is for display purposes and not for mass dissemination to the public, unlike cards that would follow and lesser cards of its time. To show what the more regular form of cards were like, a study of the Queen Victoria ephemera is necessary and we’ll be looking at that next week.

Queen Victoria’s death in 1901 exemplifies the pinnacle of her age, with her she took the mourning industry and the grandeur of her funeral is the culmination of mourning she had surrounded herself with since 1861. In 1901, a merging of the technology to mass produce the mourning cards as well as the means to convey them meant her funeral cards and ephemera were widely prolific and a clear measure of the status of those who owned/received them.

Look for next week’s post, where we compare this and Victoria’s own memorial.

Courtesy: Barbara Robbins
Dedication: “In Memory of JANE CAROLINE PARNELL, BORN MARCH 18TH, 1867, Died April 28th, 1882, AGED 15 YEARS,

“My lovely star of light, so pure, so calmly bright, How glittering you will shine to view in Heaven’s splendid height.”

5 Responses to “Parnell Mourning Ephemera”

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