Monday, June 25, 2012

Victorian Mourning Jewelry

Victorian Mourning Jewelry
Photo Source: Coco Loves Vintage Blog

In 1861, following Prince Albert’s death, jewelry inspired by the hopeful notions of the Romantic Era gave way to pragmatic authoritarian rules and regulations about everything, including jewelry.

With the heavier social customs came heavier jewelry, as well as the institution of day and night jewelry. It was frowned upon to be seen during the day with glittery, ostentatious jewelry. The once frilly and colorful designs of the early Victorian years were replaced with subtler, weighty designs made from onyx, black glass, and jet (a form of fossilized driftwood).

Colored stones were strictly taboo, so colorless diamonds, found in abundance in Africa in 1867, fast became the stone of choice for evening wear. Though a little more flash was tolerated for night wear, designers began to draw their inspiration from Gothic, Etruscan, and ancient Italian architecture. The result: Darker, hefty pieces, such as the mourning brooch shown below.

Victorian Mourning Brooch
Photo Source: Vintage Jewellery Pictures

During the ten years following Albert's death, Victoria remained in seclusion, traveling privately between Balmoral and Windsor Castle. She entered public view only a handful of times during those years; first for the unveiling of a statue of Albert in 1863, second for a public ride through the streets of London in 1864, and finally, reluctantly, for the Opening of Parliament in 1866. She became fixated on death. It was a bleak time for fashion, with England’s fashion trendsetter remaining in deep mourning for nearly a decade.

Emulating Queen Victoria’s obsession with death, English society turned toward what Michael Wheeler calls the "Victorian Death Cult." The majority of England became sickly fascinated with death and mourning, and funeral rites became sentimental and showy.

This fascination with death and the macabre inspired a new fashion which we now call antique jewelry. Prior to Albert’s death, the code dictated six months of deep mourning and another six months of half morning. Upon the Prince’s death, Queen Victoria restricted her household to full mourning for one year and half mourning for one year. Deep mourning customs dictated scant jewelry and black and grey dresses made from crepe.

To the relief of many, on March 10, 1863, Queen Victoria declared an end to the mourning period for England, making the wedding of her son Prince Bertie to the Princess Alexandra the most colorful spectacle seen on English soil for two years. Despite the Queen's release of the public, she remained heavily in mourning, purveying the ceremony from a private box shrouded in what Helen Rappaport terms her “widows weeds.” She also refused to lift the ban of half-mourning from the female members of the Household. Her daughters wore dresses of mauve, lilac, and grey to the wedding.

If Princess Alexandra hadn’t come as “a breath of fresh air to blow away the mid-century cobwebs,” the jewelry industry may have collapsed. {8} Thankfully, the jubilant wedding gave the jewelry industry permission to look to the new Princess for inspiration. Although white diamonds and pearls continued to dominate the jewelry scene into the early 1900s, designers began to introduce a little more romance and whimsy into their designs over the following decades.



BIBLIOGRAPHY


1. Essortment. "Victorian Mourning Customs." Accessed June 13, 2012. http://www.essortment.com/victorian-mourning-customs-63807.html.
2. Spark Notes. "Queen Victoria: The Years of Mourning." Accessed June 13, 2012. http://www.sparknotes.com/biography/victoria/section5.rhtml.
3. Smith, S. E. "What was Victorian Mourning Like?" wiseGeek. Accessed June 13, 2012. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-was-victorian-mourning-like.htm.
4. Britton, Natalya. "Victorian Death Worship and Literature." Literary Culture @ Suite101. June 29, 2012. Accessed June 13, 2012. http://suite101.com/article/victorian-death-worship-and-literature-a255829.
5. Burnett, Ann. "Perkin's Purple." Writer and Tutor, Ann Burnett. Accessed June 13, 2012. http://www.annburnett.co.uk/perkins_purple.html.
6. Nadelhoffer, Hans. Cartier. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd., 2007. 7. Rappaport, Helen. Queen Victoria: A Biographical Companion. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2003. 8. Tisdall, E. E. P. Alexandra: Edward VII’s Unpredictable Queen. New York: J. Day Co., 1954.

*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

31 comments:

  1. Very informative post! There is a lot of information here that can help any business get started with a successful social networking campaign. Jewelry Boxes By Reid

    ReplyDelete
  2. This post is worthy of appreciation, looking forward to more exciting! Diamond engagement rings

    ReplyDelete
  3. They are similar to the ear sleeves which are warped groups of metal that are squeezed onto the ears. Notwithstanding, the clasp on hoops lost their notoriety when the pierce-on studs were presented during the 1970s. Luckily, these sorts of hoops have as of late made a rebound. ear cuff

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. wholesale loose diamonds dallas

    ReplyDelete
  5. Indian jewellery is considered the embodiment of traditional beauty and opulence. Among the wide variety of designs and patterns of Indian jewellery, the Kundan jewellery is known to be the perfect image of skilled craftsmanship and matchless talent. mens rings

    ReplyDelete
  6. Online Jewelry Stores are your key to great quality and fair prices!Another great benefit to shopping at online jewelry stores is that the sellers know that there is tremendous competition on the internet, and therefore, they try as hard as they can to make their own shops and products as attractive as possible. jewelry store in phoenix az

    ReplyDelete
  7. For this web site, you will see our account, remember to go through this info. diamond rings dallas texas

    ReplyDelete
  8. Choose a custom made jeweller operating in a well-known jewellery manufacturing area e.g. Hatton Garden in London in the UK, Cordoba in Spain or Antwerp in Belgium. Jewelry is a highly specialised trade, with different craftsmen specialising in different areas. By choosing someone in a specialist jewellery manufacturing area means that the best master craftsmen will be easily available locally to complete each stage of the manufacture. Scottsdale diamonds

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. InnovativeExistence Jewelry Stores

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences. Beli Emas

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info. buy gold classic wow

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you very much for this useful article. I like it. engagement rings

    ReplyDelete
  13. I really like your blog. Great article. It's most evident, people should learn before they are able to Scottsdale diamonds

    ReplyDelete
  14. I know this is one of the most meaningful information for me. And I'm animated reading your article. But should remark on some general things, the website style is perfect; the articles are great. Thanks for the ton of tangible and attainable help. cheap wow gold eu

    ReplyDelete
  15. Popular apparel doesn't show an excessive amount of skin or have all the earmarks of being excessively close. Chic apparel doesn't confine development, yet rather empowers the person to be pretty much as agreeable and normal as could really be expected. Fashion apparel store

    ReplyDelete
  16. In this particular design page, you will see the most beneficial specifics, you should enjoy around that will advanced involving facet. pawn shop phoenix az

    ReplyDelete
  17. This post is usually fulfilling together with artistic. Photograph buying getting some sort of institutional head out and this also likewise includes functioned all people acquiring one aspect. sell gold tempe az

    ReplyDelete
  18. While some people like authentic and Amethyst Rings Gold hand-crafted jewellery, others may simply want to stock their wardrobes with trendy and fashionable items. Honestly, both have their own pros and cons. Let's try and compare both types of jewellery on the basis of their quality, durability and affordability.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I really impressed after read this because of some quality work and informative thoughts . I just wanna say thanks for the writer and wish you all the best for coming!. shashi necklace

    ReplyDelete
  20. Which is more enjoyable, getting a root waterway, making good on your assessments, or selling your jewelry? Not a very remarkable decision, but rather following is some information that can remove the disappointment from selling your jewelry. seiko yachtmaster

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value. Im glad to have found this post as its such an interesting one! I am always on the lookout for quality posts and articles so i suppose im lucky to have found this! I hope you will be adding more in the future... kanadas visum online

    ReplyDelete
  22. 14 karat is 14/24 or.583 gold and 18 karat is 18/24 or.750 gold. Platinum more often than not is 90% unadulterated and 10% composite. Silver jewelry is generally real, which is.925 unadulterated. gold loan

    ReplyDelete
  23. I will state only that it really is outstanding! The blog is normally details as well as typically help make great aspects. Scottsdale diamonds

    ReplyDelete
  24. Although all are safe for cleaning precious metal and diamonds, all are not interchangeable and safe for all kinds of jewelry. Shining Light Piercing

    ReplyDelete
  25. The way to starting any business is to teach your self however much as could reasonably be expected, take a full breath and get it done. MONERA-DESIGN

    ReplyDelete
  26. Home is an overall term used to depict recently possessed. That reality is one of the deciding variables. seiko tuna

    ReplyDelete
  27. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. luxury jewelry brands

    ReplyDelete
  28. Having said that, it won't be wrong to state that Online Jewelry Stores has every capability to be your one stop shop if you are looking for decent, elegant, quality, affordable, and fashionable diamonds for all sorts of events. https://artfulvalues.shop/

    ReplyDelete
  29. A secured stockpiling unit is a famous decision for both private and modern purposes. It accompanies a tough overhead stage that shields an automobile from direct sun beams. Jewelry supplier

    ReplyDelete
  30. I read this article. I think You put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate your work Iphone 10 Price

    ReplyDelete