Christie’s Americana Week sale takes place January 21-25 at Rockefeller Plaza in New York. The sale includes a unique watch key owned by Thomas Jefferson. The key contains a lock of his wife’s hair and is inscribed “Martha W. Jefferson Born 19 Oct. 1748, Died 6 Sept. 1782.” Jefferson, who never remarried, pledged to always remember his wife. It is believed that Jefferson commissioned this watch key as a means of fulfilling that promise.
My 1860s mourning undergarments took a grand total of 4 days to finish. I am working on the bodice lining toile right now! I’m hoping to finish this up early next week and prepare for my final costume for the Degree Show!
Winged feminine figure. Bronze by sculptor Adolfo Apolloni 1904. Burial monument of the Calcagno family at the Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa - Italy.
“This enamelled gold mourning ring commemorates the death of Samuel Nicholets of Hertfordshire who died on 7th July 1661, as is recorded in the inscription inside the ring. The ring is hollow, and a lock of hair curls around within it, visible through the openwork of the enamelled decoration of skulls and coats of arms.”
We placed the wreaths upon the splendid granite sarcophagus, and at its feet, and felt that only the earthly robe we loved so much was there. The pure, tender, loving spirit which loved us so tenderly, is above us, loving us, praying for us, and free from all suffering and woe, yes, that is a comfort, and that first birthday in another world must have been a far brighter one than any in this poor world below!
These two items don’t belong to each other but I found them suitable to post together.
The Jacket is by Jacques Doucet, c.1898-1900
The bonnet is from c.1890
The boots are just fabulous and date c.1890-1900
I promise that when the scene came on with the two lovely sisters I totally didn’t exclaim “Oh my gosh Katherine Howard has a HEAD!” or “Lucrezia Borgia is now brunette… and victorian?”
I adore Holly Grainger and even though she made me feel very uncomfortable during her nude scenes the Tudors I love Tamzin Merchant.
Also. The hair brooch at her throat is AMAZING. I tried to zoom in (sorry it’s bad) and put a piece that is similar up. My archive is full of hair jewelry because I collect it.
For those who are slightly confused by the Victorian mourning here is a brief explanation of memento mori I wrote a while ago.
Late Stuart memorial slides—- Four enamelled gold mourning rings, English, 1658-1732 : Most surviving examples are dated after the Great Plague of 1666; the hoops depict skeletons and “memento mori” symbols, derived from the Bills of Mortality pinned up in local parishes. Gold posy-ring given as pledge; openwork flowers to contain hair, "Thee and I will lovers die"* British Museum * If I ever decide to get married on my husbands wedding ring I want to engrave This and I until I die.
Skull and crossbones, dated on reverse, 1679,
Skelton with hour-glass, skull and spade,
Wirework monogram with cherubs holding a skull, 1690,
Naked lady reading at a table with a skull and hourglass, 1705,
Late Stuart memorial slides—-
Four enamelled gold mourning rings, English, 1658-1732 : Most surviving examples are dated after the Great Plague of 1666; the hoops depict skeletons and “memento mori” symbols, derived from the Bills of Mortality pinned up in local parishes.
Gold posy-ring given as pledge; openwork flowers to contain hair, "Thee and I will lovers die"*
* If I ever decide to get married on my husbands wedding ring I want to engrave This and I until I die.
I’m sorry! I know some people find it creepy but I adore Memento Mori.
"Memento Mori" coffin pendants 16c, British Museum
Stuart memorial jewellery 1660-1714 Charles I’s miniature portrait,
Charles II memorial rings 1684,
Silver box with memorial jewels—
Five of the jewels with monograms in gold wire; one with a skeleton and MEM.MOR (memento mori: remember that you must die). The memorials late 17th or early 18th c, set in an 18th-century box.
"Memento Mori" coffin pendants 16c,
Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, image from “The Ruins of Detroit” (2005- )
(image from thestapleton.com)
I can’t find the website now but they said this: “Think back on photographs of the Angkor temples in Cambodia, remains of what was once the largest city on Earth, or depictions of the Egyptian pyramids. These buildings and spaces are now dead, existing only as monuments to what once was and as prophecies foretelling every civilization’s eventual collapse.”
When I look at these photos I’m reminded of the Victorian memento mori or ”Remember you must die.”
Nothing is forever.
I know I’ve posted it before but I just love this piece.
Locket of Love, it is an incredible gold pendant containing the hair of the couple Admiral Nelson and Emma Hamilton. This locket was known to be made in the year the duo began their affair. This important piece, known to experts, marks the Battle of Nile and it is dated on August 1, 1798, the very first day of that epic encounter. The pendant containing two locks of hair on either side, with a letter N on the front symbolizes the name of Admiral Lord ‘Nelson’. With glowing pearls taking the contour of an anchor, with an arrow signifying intimate love and a garland signifying victory, this pendant has an attention grabbing aesthetics. While Nelson’s sandy-colored hair is placed around the inscription, Emma’s darker lock is placed on the reverse. This pendant was auctioned and sold for £44,000. Most individuals who have researched about this pendant are quite convinced and agree to the fact that it is a token symbolizing the word’s famous love affairs.