Locket

1775-1800 (made)
Locket thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Engraved gold ,ivory painted in watercolour with a miniature embellished with hair and pearls
Brief Description
Engraved gold frame, ivory painted in watercolour with a miniature, embellished with hair and pearls, of a woman by a Tomb bearing the initials BEC beneath the inscription I Mourn for them I loved, England, 1775-1800
Physical Description
Engraved gold frame, ivory painted in watercolour with a miniature, embellished with hair and pearls, of a woman by a tomb bearing the initials BEC beneath the inscription I Mourn for them I loved. At the back knots of plaited hair.
Dimensions
  • Height: 4.6cm
  • Width: 2.7cm
  • Depth: 1cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'BEC' (initials on the tomb)
  • 'I Mourn for them I loved' (inscription)
Object history
Part of a group of memorial and mourning jewels bought from Dr Marco Guastalla, acting on behalf of 'an English lady residing in Italy' (museum numbers 846-1888 to 989-1888)
Subjects depicted
Summary
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.
Collection
Accession Number
945-1888

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record createdJuly 19, 2006
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