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Victorian Enamel Mourning Locket

Victorian Enamel Mourning Locket

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The Victorians were a sentimental bunch, and learned a great deal about preserving the memories of loved ones from the Georgians before them. Before photography was widely available, the Georgians used physical items such as hair and teeth as tokens of love and friendship while living and as touchstones for the departed. The hair of a loved one was used in many ways - woven to form the body of a ring or bracelet, braided beneath a clear portrait-cut stone, even cut into minuscule pieces and used to paint elaborate sepia miniatures. While mourning customs, including dress and jewelry, were already recognized at the time of Prince Albert's death in 1861, Queen Victoria's subsequent lifelong adherence to mourning galvanized its wider adoption.

This later turn of the century piece features a rather modest lock of hair on a purple background (a colour reserved for later and less acute stages of mourning) and a photograph of the deceased, with beautiful details on the outside. The front features an enamelled scene with an urn and the common shorthand IMO, for "in memory of," while the back of the locket is intricately engraved with a detailed pattern and the initials RD.

A tender piece of history, this locket serves as a reminder of life's fleeting nature and the impetus to share our love before we're gone.

• Gold plated, unmarked
• Enamel front, engraved back
• Hair and photo included, but removable
• 27mm tall by 20.5mm wide by 8.8mm thick (closed)
• 6.6g
• Please note that the chain pictured is to show the locket's scale and is not included.
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  • Solid gold is among the best materials for everyday wear.

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