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...