black onyx

This black enamel, gold and seed pearl mourning brooch is classic for the early Victorian period; seed pearls symbolize tears. The white on black cameo set in gold and decorated by inset black enamel (taille d’epargne) is early to mid-Victorian and may be worn as a mourning piece or simply as a piece of jewelry with only decorative significance. The sharp contrast of black and white in cameos and black enamel on gold were strongly favored during the early to mid-Victorian era.

Identifying hairwork and mourning jewelry

By Dr. Anthony Cavo & Nancy Schuring The popularity of hairwork (jewelry and art made of human hair) reached its pinnacle during the Victorian era. The incorporation of human hair in jewelry began during the Middle Ages and achieved extensive popularity during the Georgian era, but the Victorians embraced the concept...