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Locket

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1775-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold, gold wire, set with seed pearls and hair, ivory painted in watercolour

  • Museum number:

    925-1888

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 81, shelf D3, box 14

Memorial jewellery to honour the dead is one of the largest categories of 18th- century jewellery to survive. Many mourning jewels have inscriptions that record the name and dates of the dead person.

From 1760 there was a new vogue for memorial medallions or lockets. These became especially popular in Britain, though similar work was produced throughout Europe.

The lockets could be bought ready made, and the designs were standardised. Neo-classical motifs of funerary urns, plinths and obelisks joined the more traditional cherubs, angels and weeping willows. Hair was preserved as curls within the locket, or cut up and used to create designs.

Physical description

Gold locket or brooch enclosing a miniature painted in watercolour on ivory, embellished with gold wire and pearls, of a woman by a tomb inscribed Rest in Peace with a Cherub above. At the back, the initials ER in seed pearls on hair

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1775-1800 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Gold, gold wire, set with seed pearls and hair, ivory painted in watercolour

Marks and inscriptions

inscribed Rest in Peace

the initials ER
At the back

Dimensions

Height: 5.4 cm, Width: 3.6 cm, Depth: 1.3 cm

Descriptive line

Gold locket,ivory painted in watercolour, embellished with gold wire and pearl, seed pearls on hair, England, 1775-1800

Materials

Gold; Seed pearls; Human hair; Ivory; Gold wire

Subjects depicted

Tombs; Putti; Miniatures (paintings); Women

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Death

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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