In Loving Memory

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling and Mourning Rings

Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter… 

Duck Face, Kissy Face, Smize, or Squnich…

Millenials are memorializing every detail of their lives, from the most mundane to the downright inappropriate – it’s all there on social media for the world to see.  I’m not averse to it…  I’ve been known to pose for a selfie or two, send out snaps and check in with my girls on Facebook – but some life events deserve more than a quick pic and a hasty status update.  Things like engagements and weddings, or perhaps when a new life begins, and certainly when a life ends. 

They were doing it right two hundred years ago.  When a loved one passed away, the bereavement process often included the creation of a special piece of jewelry; it was called mourning jewelry.  These unique treasures usually included the name of the deceased person as well as their death date.  Many also included a special compartment for a lock of hair.  These small trinkets were handed out at the funeral while more elaborate styles were worn by family members. 

These are just three of the mourning rings we have here at Joden.  Black enamel was a recurring theme in this type of jewelry (as you can see) as were pearls, urns, and flowers.  Each one of these rings is engraved (from left to right)…

  • T.T.J.  14.12.1893
  • M.H.C. Mourant died 6th Oct. 1866
  • W:  Terry OB: 24 Oct: 1809: AE 53

    

The trio of rings on the left are all very similar to each other; the hair receiver on top surrounded by natural pearls (usually signifying the loss of a child).  Only one of them actually contains hair – the other two are still waiting for someone to fill them.  The ring on the right was made in the Georgian period.  The delicate blonde tresses inside have been plaited into a basket-weave pattern completely surrounded by sparkling purple gemstones. 

    

Quite a lot of the mementos made in the 1800’s were brooches and lockets, like the ones shown here.  The two pins in the foreground are exceptional examples of the fine workmanship that mourning jewelry is known for.  The locket in the background is covered in a layer of black enamel with a pearl-centered flower on the front.  As you can see in the photo on the right, the locket appears to have never been used…  the original blue silk is still inside in pristine condition.

I readily admit that when one of my sons is doing something particularly adorable or noteworthy, the first thing I reach for is my cell phone – to capture that smile forever.  Photographs are truly worth a thousand words, and I cherish all of mine.  But I can’t help but feel that if I had a ring on my little finger (with a lock of my loved one’s hair safely cradled inside), it would be incredibly comforting to know that I carried a part of them with me every day.  I’m certain that each time I looked at the ring, I would smile.  And remember. 

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

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It’s the Little Things

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Converted Things

Gone are the days of women wearing suits to work every day.  Casual apparel has become commonplace.  As a result, brooches and pins have been abandoned to the bottom of jewelry boxes everywhere.

Many women mistakenly think that brooches are for dressing up…  Not true!  In fact, in the 1800’s, pins were worn every day, although they weren’t always visible.  Women’s undergarments have come a LONG way, but the basic structure is still very much the same – straps worn over the shoulders.  In Victorian times, these straps were secured with a tiny pair of decorative pins.  Lingerie pins, like these:

lingerie-pins

At Joden, we have several pair of lingerie pins…  and they are all enchanting.  There are Art Deco filigree styles with tiny sapphires, Edwardian designs with pearl centers, and Art Nouveau sets enameled in shades of pink, blue, and black.

With bar necklaces popping up all over the place, we decided to start converting our little pins into necklaces, two are pictured below.  Aren’t they are fabulous? In fact, they sold so quickly, we had to make more.

new-blog-photo

So, dig out those brooches, and get inspired!

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

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Carla Leight

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