Another of our amazing collection of antique mourning jewelry (slowly working through crates of antique jewelry so please keep coming back to see more as we list). This is an early Victorian all original mourning brooch, dedication engraved on back tells us that the hair inside is from a very beloved Martha Clarke, who died just before Christmas in 1846. We don't know her age, and we can only hope for her family's sake she was not a little child. In over 170 years now, she's likely been largely forgotten, even by the family that might well live on somewhere in the world. Geneology might tell us more, if we had also a birth date, but alas, most of these bits of the past are now no more than poignent collections with a little glimpse at another time, another aesthetic and custom. This one is a spectacular example, however, and one to please even the most sophisticated collector. Nice large size and an eternal circle of seed pearls that represent the tears of the bereaved, the beautifully decorated black enamel and repousee rocailles that border the piece make it a real treasure.
Excellent condition for its age, you still see Martha Clarke's locks in there, tied with their gold thread in the fashion of the French pieces. A superb piece, no losses in the enamel or pearls, no chips or cracks to the old beveled cover glass.