Long before cell phones, before cameras could be carried in a pocket or a purse, photographs were expensive and hard to come by; so people often didn’t have images of their loved ones to keep after that person had passed. Instead, they used a lock of hair, often elaborately woven and put under glass. It gave them a memory, a keepsake, of the person that they had lost.
This brooch was made as a memorial to one such person. It would have been worn during the period of mourning, which lasted for a year and then some. The front of this wonderfully hand crafted pin is done in swirls of gold and black enamel and is set with a virtual bouquet of flowers which are accented in creamy white pearls and one small diamond. This brooch has a frame on the reverse which would originally have held the hair of loved one, but which has been removed at some point in its life. The reverse is inscribed with ‘In Memory Of’ and the initials ‘EHC’. This large piece measures 40.7 mm from north to south and 50.9 mm across and weighs 26.2 grams. We’ve carefully acid tested it as being 15 karat gold.
This wonderful piece of history was made during the Georgian era in England, probably dating to about 1830.
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