Memorial Card and Hairwork

September 15, 2010

Memorial card art followed strong continuity following the decline of the mourning industry post 1880 and variation in the art didn’t follow the excessive change to match contemporary trend as it had previously. This card from 1892 and the card below are over twenty years apart but show a strong connection in their art. Printing plates and the artwork had already been established as set mourning iconography, and changing would have been an expensive task. Style would dictate change in the years to come, as the following examples show.

This piece is also made more sentimental by the addition of the fireman’s button and the hair – not woven by anyone in the industry, but clipped and applied to the card. It is also placed inside a frame with a correction to the date of death inscribed to the wood in the back. The sentimentality in mourning pieces, whilst there was a mainstream decline, was no less than it had been previously. Changing popular thought after so many years of mourning conditioning is not something that could happen in the space of a generation, an important factor when considering late Victorian pieces of any sort.

Courtesy: Sarah Nehama
Year: Oct 8, 1892

3 Responses to “Memorial Card and Hairwork”


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