Urn Willow Onyx Mourning Ring

If you know me well enough, you may think this is hypocritical, but sometimes I often buy jewellery to wear. Yes, as a person who is based in conservation and education, I love my urn/mourning motifs and this one grabbed me. I was in London looking down upon a cabinet of jewellery and it just spoke to my heart. As you can see, there are no dedications on it, which make it safe for me to wear and not feel that I’m harming the memory of a person.

Urn Willow Onyx Mourning Ring

Urn Willow Onyx Mourning RingWant to read a bit more on the use of the willow in jewellery symbolism? Then why not click over here for more!

Mourning Cameo Ring Victorian

Mourning cameos have been set in jewellery from the mid 18th Century as popular items.

Different materials have been used, such as shell, but onyx has always been a more popular choice. French memorial items widely used onyx in the 19th Century, as did many areas along the Continent.

This was not necessarily a response to the jet trade, but simply a fashionable material. Jewellery that can be considered for mourning or memorial in the early 20th Century is more commonly made from onyx.

This mid 19th Century piece above shows the wonderful carving of the broken urn and forget-me-not in the same cameo, making it less common than most which generally show one item or another.

Spotlight On: Sets

April 29, 2010

French Mourning Set19th Century French and German mourning sets are still available and complete today (if one looks hard enough) and consist of bracelet, necklace, brooch and earrings. These predominately feature onyx rather than black enamel. English pieces in the same style were also created, but due to the greater use of onyx on the Continent, they are harder to find.

Hairwork earrings are also popular in sentimental jewellery, many being produced in the USA and England. Different weaves and different gold fittings denote the different times and sears of construction for hairwork earrings. Examples of these can be found in the Collector’s Encyclopedia of Hairwork Jewelry and also on this site.

Earrings with glass compartments for hair mementos were also used, but are harder to find.

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