Isadoras antique jewelry

Memento Mori Jewelry (also known as Mourning Jewelry)

Today I would like to talk about a specialized section of antique jewelry—memorial jewelry, morning jewelry or "Memento Mori"  jewelry.

IMG_2697 Antique Memento Mori Rings

During the 16th through the 18th century it was popular to wear jewelry that memorialized a love one’s death.

36d05a41b84958a1db9ba2af0a146de8 Image of Deep Mourning

This became especially popular during the Victorian era upon the death of Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s husband).  Queen Victorian dressed in mourning for decades creating an industry for beautiful mourning jewelry.  Popular elements were black enamel, jet, onyx, bog oak, gutta pecrcha and hair.

IMG_2308 Victorian Hair Mourning Ring

Hair jewelry is one of the most unusual and collectible Memento Mori niches today.  And while all hair jewelry is sentimental, not all of it it is acutually mourning jewelry.  Frequently lovers, family members and friends would exchange a lock of hair as we do a photograph today.  But much of the hair jewelry that comes to us today, is indeed mourning jewelry.

For more exquisite mourning jewelry please visit our website:

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