Joe’s Special Box – Volume 103

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and A Collector’s Things

For hundreds of years, we have sought solace after the loss of a loved one in a myriad of ways.  Often, a piece of jewelry was kept as a token to be worn and treasured… mourning jewelry.  In the Georgian era (the early 1800’s), the pieces were more macabre, focusing on the “Memento Mori” sentiment.  This phrase was a reminder that we are mortals and will all die.  Skulls, coffins, and shovels were popular and used frequently.

Later on, in Victorian times, mourning jewelry was much more personal, often memorializing a particular individual.  Tombs, angels, and urns were prominent motifs, like this one.  Made of 14 karat rosy gold and silver, this pendant is truly extraordinary.  Joe described it as very fine, one of the best he’s ever seen.  Depicting an urn, the surface is covered with a layer of black enamel, symbolic of the loss of light and life.  Hand wired handles are on each side, with additional wire detailing on the bail and body of the vase.  

Seventy-four natural seed pearls add a dimension of beauty and are thought to represent the tears shed by those left behind.  A singular rose cut diamond is set in the center, nearly fading into the background.  Another common element of mourning jewelry was a locket, or hair receiver.  Frequently these compartments featured a glass lid and provided a place to store a lock of hair.  

In near perfect condition, this pendant is tragically beautiful.  Perhaps even now, nearly 150 years after it’s creation, it can bring comfort to someone today.  Priced at $3,800.00 – this is one memento worth saving.

“You can go to a museum and look, or come to Joden and touch.”

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Dana Jerpe

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