My favorite blog, Boing Boing, featured the collection of Hayden Peters, who runs a site called Art of Mourning.

In an interview with Collectors Weekly, Historian and Collector Hayden Peters charts the evolution of mourning jewelry from the 16th century through its most prolific period during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Here’s an excerpt from their interview:

Collectors Weekly:  So, just to be clear, is mourning jewelry considered a type of funeralia?

This Victorian hairwork bracelet featured a weave that stretched to fit the wearer. The clasp is neo-Rococo.
This Victorian hairwork bracelet featured a weave that stretched to fit the wearer. The clasp is neo-Rococo.
 

Peters:  Yes. Some pieces are obviously made with the funeral in mind. In the 16th century, it wasn’t unheard of to leave an allocation in your will for the construction of mourning jewelry to be given to the loved ones at the funeral. To me that’s funeralia. That’s an accessory of mourning and part of the pomp and showiness of the funeral itself.

There were other things, though, that may be considered mourning but not funeralia. For example, I don’t consider the neoclassical stuff to be real funeralia, but it all falls under that umbrella. Funeralia, itself, is another world. You have the actual cemetery, the burial, and God knows what. It has so many facets. I think the jewelry fits in there in some way.

Read the full interview here.

Check out Peters’ site, the Art of Mourning, here.

Advertisements