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Locket

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1775-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold with a composition in hair, metal and seed pearls on opaline glass, watercolour

  • Museum number:

    956-1888

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 81, shelf D3, box 4

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 frame enclosing a composition in hair, metal and seed pearls on opaline glass painted in watercolour. An urn with the initials FW beneath a willow

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1775-1800 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Gold with a composition in hair, metal and seed pearls on opaline glass, watercolour

Marks and inscriptions

'FW'
Initials

Dimensions

Height: 5.6 cm, Width: 3.9 cm, Depth: 1.3 cm

Descriptive line

Gold frame enclosing a composition in hair, metal and seed pearls on opaline glass of an urn with the initials FW beneath a willow, England, 1775-1800

Materials

Gold; Seed pearls

Subjects depicted

Mourning; Urns; Willow tree

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Death

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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