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Locket

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1775-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraved gold with enamel, ivory painted in watercolour with a miniature, gold wire and pearls

  • Museum number:

    942-1888

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 81, shelf D3, box 19

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

Engraved gold frame decorated with enamel , ivory painted in watercolour with a miniature, embellished with gold wire and pearls, of a standing figure by a Tomb bearing the initials MM beneath a willow tree

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1775-1800 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Engraved gold with enamel, ivory painted in watercolour with a miniature, gold wire and pearls

Marks and inscriptions

'MM'
Initialled

Dimensions

Height: 5 cm, Width: 2.8 cm, Depth: 0.8 cm

Descriptive line

Engraved gold frame decorated with enamel, ivory painted in watercolour with a miniature, embellished with gold wire and pearls, of a standing figure by a Tomb bearing the initials MM beneath a willow tree, England, 1775-1800

Materials

Gold; Ivory; Gold wire; Enamel; Watercolour; Pearl

Subjects depicted

Tombs; Miniatures (paintings); Figures (representations); Willow tree; Mourning

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Death

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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