Harriot Whitbread Witch’s Heart Pendant, 1764

August 5, 2011

Harriet Whitbread Pendant

Barbara Robbins is a wonderful seller and has a remarkable collection, what makes her pieces so special is that she cares about the history behind each:

Harriet Whitbread Pendant

“This is a large witch’s heart, measuring 1 and 1/4 inches North to South, not counting the bale, and an inch East to West. On one side we have the human hair of the beloved, and the words, set in gold around the heart read “Set me as a seal upon thing heart.” Please excuse the greenish cast of the gold on the blue enamel.   On the other side of the heart are the words: “Harriot Whitbread, Born 17th October 1733, Married 7th July 1757, died 22nd April, Easter Day, 1764. Around the side of the heart are the names of all Harriot’s children and their birthdates. They are: Harriot, born 5th April, 1758, Emma. Maria. Eliz 12 Sept, 1761, Samuel 18 Jan 1764. You may know that the Whitbread family started a well known brewery in the UK.”

2 Responses to “Harriot Whitbread Witch’s Heart Pendant, 1764”

  1. Peggy Says:

    I’m not really sure what the post means….are you saying that Harriot Whitbread was a witch? Doesn’t seem very likely in the 18th century that someone would advertise that a loved one was in the witches religion….even in England. i have studied the Wicca religion and announcing one’s faith in any 18th century English-speaking county just doesn’t seem like it would happen.

    • Hi Peggy,

      It’s terminology for the symbol of the heart featuring the bent area in the bottom; commonly known as the “witch’s heart” and not to do with Wicca or witches at all. It’s a very popular jewellery symbol, particularly in the 19th century and is still used today. It represents one to be “bewitched to fall in love” with the recipient.

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