Saturday, February 23

Shopping on Saturday




I love estate jewelry. Not only for its uniqueness, but the stories and history that accompany such pieces. One of my favorite online shops to browse is Fay Cullen. I could spend hours surfing and daydreaming.

One bracelet that caught my eye was this antique Victorian tortoiseshell bracelet complete with the original heart padlock clasp in 15ct yellow gold. It seemed especially appropriate given that our son is studying the Victorian period in school and we listen the Vile Victorians Horrible Histories CD regularly!

The bracelet is most likely an example of Victorian mourning jewelry considered suitable for 'half mourning' or the second year of mourning the death of a loved one.

The mourner would only be allowed to wear black clothing and accessories for the first year following a loved one's death while the somber yet appealing color of tortoiseshell jewelry was considered appropriate for entering the second official year of mourning. This rare bracelet is an extraordinary example of Victorian era artisan's creativity and workmanship despite the restrictive parameters of the day.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very fascinating!

Mary-Laure said...

Now you know why I love Victorian style - so severe yet so creative!
I need to check out that CD...

Seamstress of Thought said...

the traditions of mourning are fascinating & this bracelet is so beautiful.

Kwana said...

Beautiful. What an inventive way to show some style. Thanks for sharing.

coco+kelley said...

that bracelet is gorgeous! it looks so much like today's designs with those chunky links and the oversized heart... just another example of inspiration from history, i suppose :) i will have to check out Fay Cullen! it looks like they carry some amazing pieces.

Cote de Texas said...

I WANT THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You know - they also wore opals for mourning. there were only certain stones that they were allowed to wear during mourning. can you imagine doing that today? Humans are weird people. haha


also, they would wear hair jewelry. gross.

Joni

pve design said...

Literally, to die for. Love that chunky link.
Do you know anything about the victorian lockets of hair. They are also intriguing to me.

melissa lewis said...

Your facts about the bracelet were so interesting, and the piece was so beautiful, I just went to her site. Oh my, oh how I wish I could have it all!

dianamuse said...

How interesting. I love the clasp: both the imagery of a padlocked heart as well as the decorative detail.