Learn about Mourning Jewellery

In Victorian England there were strict protocols for mourning the death of a family member, relative or (in the case of servants) an employer of employer's family member. They were particularly observed by the upper classes, but followed by other classes where the apparel and accoutrements could be afforded.

Mourning protocols were mainly applied to women, who were expected to wear heavy, concealing, black clothing, together with a black crepe veil, and a cap or bonnet.

Mourning jewellery completed the ensemble.

For a widow, there were three stages of mourning, covering a period of two years or more. The first period of mourning, lasting for a year and a day, was known as "full mourning". "Second mourning" covered a period of nine months, and allowed for a slight relaxation on the colour and style of garments worn, and for mourning jewellery. "Half mourning" lasted from three to six months and more elaborate and coloured fabrics such as grey and lavender could be slowly introduced.

Different rules applied to men, children and servants, depending upon their relationship with the deceased. more...

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These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

Victorian 18ct gold and pale pink shell mourning brooch, circa 1890

Two various early brooches, including black onyx (hairline) pearl set mourning brooch; and antler with deer decoration (A/F).

A Victorian leaf-shape mourning brooch with hair locket centre within a graduated facet-cut border.

An Australian 9ct yellow gold diamond and ruby oval mourning brooch one old mine cut diamond, two round rubies with a glass mourning section in the back. The brooch is stamped T.H

An Australian 15ct yellow gold diamond moon and star brooch four old mine cut diamonds, the brooch also has a glass locket / mourning section at the back, it was made by Aronson & Co, Melbourne

Brooch: Victorian gold seed pearl and blue enamel mourning brooch.

Brooch: Victorian onyx and seed pearl mourning brooch.

A Victorian pearl, blue enamel and gold-cased mourning brooch with hair locket reverse

A collection of assorted jewellery; a pair of 14ct hardstone cameo clip earrings, a 9ct stick pin set with a crescent shape opal and an old cut diamond af, a mourning brooch and a silver gilt brooch (830). Wt. 26g.

An Australian antique mourning brooch, the reversible glazed brooch with carved bone panel depicting an emu and kangaroo, with a photo locket to reverse, within a rolled gold foliate mount

A beautiful cameo mourning brooch. Gilt, early Victorian, made as a large oval shell cameo depicting a beautifully carved depiction of Leda and the swan, framed in a rolled edge of polished metal, designed as a swivel panel, detailed to reverse with a wove

A 9ct gold fob medallion (5.4g),A Victorian silver fob medallion, a Queen Victoria silver Jubilee pendant, and a part mourning brooch. (4)

Victorian gold plated mourning brooch, oval shape with onyx centre set with seed pearls

Victorian gilded mourning brooch in original case with one earring

A quantity of watch keys, Australian fauna charms, a mourning brooch and a pair of 'Union Jack' sleeve links. (qty)

A pearl, diamond and enamel mourning brooch; 18ct gold

A 9ct gold mourning brooch; featuring an onyx panel applied with a pearl set leaf to rear locket compartment. 34 x 25mm. Weight 12.3g

Antique mourning locket brooch with gold enamel and seed pearls, dated 13th December 1869 (Lozenge to rear)

Early Victorian yellow gold pearl set mourning brooch. Engraved verso 'Caroline Adam, OB 27th June 1840. Age 28.' (slight split). Weight 15.3gm

Georgian yellow gold mourning brooch. Inscription verso 'T Harrison, Died July 4th 1834. Aged 60'. Weight 5.3gm

A Victorian rolled gold mourning brooch; featuring hair and pearls within a scroll frame. 48 x 40mm.

An antique mourning brooch; 35 x 20mm with glass front inlaid with hair and a floral arrangement of natural pearls. Safety chain attached. Wt.5.3g.

Victorian. Yellow gold emerald and pearl set mourning brooch. Central square emerald (approx.0.75ct) surrounded by pearls. Chain and tassel suspended. Original photograph to reverse. W15.8g

A Victorian 9ct gold mourning brooch, approximately 32 x 21mm, 3.61gms.

Gold filled Victorian cameo mourning brooch. Well carved cameo of classical scene. Some repairs.

An antique serpent mourning brooch, the finely detailed serpent in figure of eight coil, with plaited hair inlay, set to the head with a pear shaped garnet cut en cabochon and seed pearl detail, suspending a garnet set heart pendant, in 18ct gold

Georgian mourning brooch with hair, 1817 (inscripton to back)

A 19th century pinchbeck plaited hair mourning brooch

A late 18th century pinchbeck plaited hair and seed pearl set mourning brooch

A 19th century pinchbeck and enamel mourning brooch inset with hair and dated 1822-62

A 19th century gold and enamel opening portrait mourning locket brooch set with seed pearls (tests as 14ct unmarked)

An 18th century pinchbeck plaited hair mourning brooch with exquisite miniature bead initials

An early 19th century pinchbeck rectangular plaited hair mourning brooch