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Brooch

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    late 18th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold with plaited hair, hair in design, ivory painted in watercolour

  • Museum number:

    920-1888

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 81, shelf D3, box 17

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 with plaited hair, hair in design, ivory painted in watercolour with a miniature of a woman seated by a Tomb bearing the initials IG and inscribed Not lost but gone before. A cherub above bears a scroll inscribed To bliss

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

late 18th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Gold with plaited hair, hair in design, ivory painted in watercolour

Marks and inscriptions

'Not lost but gone before'
Inscribed on tomb

'To bliss'
Inscribed within a scroll

'IG'
On tomb

Dimensions

Height: 4.1 cm, Width: 2.2 cm, Depth: 0.7 cm

Descriptive line

Gold with plaited hair, hair in design, ivory painted in watercolour with a miniature of a woman seated by a Tomb bearing the initials IG and inscribed Not lost but gone before. A cherub above bears a scroll inscribed To bliss, England, 1775-1800

Materials

Gold; Hair; Ivory

Subjects depicted

Miniatures (paintings); Tombs; Putti; Women; Scrolls (information artifacts); Mourning

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Death

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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