Era - Victorian
Materials - 14k Gold & Portrait
Length - 14"
Wherever death is a frequent visitor, the living learn to accommodate it. And in Victorian England, the grasp on breath and heartbeat seemed particularly tenuous despite the abundant innovations of the time. Governed by the strict rules of decorum which permeated every aspect of Victorian life—including death—bereavement was made manifest in clothes and jewelry worn following the demise of a loved one. Often as much art as societal necessity, ornaments of Victorian mourning remain with us as radiant testaments to times past.
Meticulously fashioned from 14K gold, this dramatic Victorian Era Mourning Necklace began its existence as a splendid tribute to the woman at its center. Held in a luminous golden embrace, she remained near to beating hearts in this singularly striking necklace. And bitter as the grief may have been, there was comfort to be found in the preservation of the woman’s image through the then-novel wonder of photography.
An extravagance among the living, the immense expense of photography was often only considered affordable when compared to the price of never again seeing a loved one’s face. And crisp images required an absolute stillness photographers often found only in death. Thus it is possible the woman had already breathed her last when this image was captured, but far from being morbid, we think that makes the fascinating treasure that is this Victorian necklace all the more precious. Thrilling in its beauty as well as its significance, this gorgeous necklace is the embodiment of art and history in golden adornment.