Mid Victorian Mourning Heart Padlock Necklace

About Details History

"Hair is at once the most delicate and lasting of our materials and survives us like love. It is so light, so gentle, so escaping from the idea of death, that, with a lock of hair belonging to a child or friend, we may almost look to heaven and compare notes with angelic nature, may almost say: 'I have a piece of thee here, not unworthy of thy being now.'" - Godey's Lady's Book, 1860

The use of memorial jewelry is in evidence as far back as Ancient Rome, but it reached the apex of it's production and popularity in the Victorian era. This 9k memorial heart padlock is a beautiful example of the mid Victorian style. The face of the locket features delicate chasing along the edges and the engraving "Juliana Maria Born 25th Sept 1850, Died 31st March 1852". The reverse side features plaited hair under glass. The pendant also functions as a clasp and hangs from a new 16" 14k gold chain.

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  • Materials: 9k gold, hair, 14k chain
  • Age: engraved for 1852
  • Condition: Very good- engraving slightly worn but still legible
  • Size: 2.2 x 1.4 x 0.6cm, 16" chain
  • Location: To see this necklace in person, please visit our shop in Nolita, NYC.
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VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
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About Details History

"Hair is at once the most delicate and lasting of our materials and survives us like love. It is so light, so gentle, so escaping from the idea of death, that, with a lock of hair belonging to a child or friend, we may almost look to heaven and compare notes with angelic nature, may almost say: 'I have a piece of thee here, not unworthy of thy being now.'" - Godey's Lady's Book, 1860

The use of memorial jewelry is in evidence as far back as Ancient Rome, but it reached the apex of it's production and popularity in the Victorian era. This 9k memorial heart padlock is a beautiful example of the mid Victorian style. The face of the locket features delicate chasing along the edges and the engraving "Juliana Maria Born 25th Sept 1850, Died 31st March 1852". The reverse side features plaited hair under glass. The pendant also functions as a clasp and hangs from a new 16" 14k gold chain.

less
more

  • Materials: 9k gold, hair, 14k chain
  • Age: engraved for 1852
  • Condition: Very good- engraving slightly worn but still legible
  • Size: 2.2 x 1.4 x 0.6cm, 16" chain
  • Location: To see this necklace in person, please visit our shop in Nolita, NYC.
less
more
VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
less
more