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.

A Victorian 15ct yellow gold mourning brooch, set with twenty seed pearls & plaited hair inset under glass with a yellow gold fluted frame, gold tests as 15ct

A Georgian mourning brooch, the oval memorial porcelain panel finely painted with a broken spray of roses and a banner 'Nipped in the bud', mounted in gold with inscription to the reverse, circa 1792.

Mourning brooch. Victorian 15ct gold, double sided, set with seed pearls, contains two Edwardian photographs, height 5 cm

Mourning brooch. Victorian marked 9ct gold, double sided, contains two Edwardian photographs, height 3 cm

Victorian gold mourning brooch central hair panel with half pearl and black enamel framing dated 1839

A Victorian banded agate mourning brooch, angular enamel border, rolled gold.

Antique 9ct gold mourning brooch, as inspected, weight approx 5.6 grams. size approx 2 by 1.5cm

Boxed Victorian 15ct gold mourning brooch, with ornate filigree work. Front section opens to reveal locket with hair and open locket at back, total weight: 17.7 grams, size: 4 by 3 cm, 2007 valuation available

Victorian mourning brooch, 9ct yellow gold, of cartouche shape, with central blue enamel and split pearl design, with locket panel and safety pin to the reverse, approx. Weight 10.7 grams

Early 9ct yellow gold mourning brooch. Flourishes of hair set behind glass in yellow gold frame.

Antique portrait brooch painted on porcelain, mounted in gold with a mourning locket, in an old case. Approx 65mm Sq (case size)

Georgian 9ct yellow gold mourning brooch, approx Regency period

A Bakelite brooch, styled as a black mourning brooch with three floral panels.

A Victorian mourning brooch, oval form, scrolled border, enamel outer plaque surrounding an inner plaque of plaited hair; gold cased.

A Victorian mourning brooch, square shield form, beaded border, window to rear containing hair; 9ct rose gold. Weight 9.3g.

Good Georgian 14ct gold mourning brooch, approx 6 grams

Georgian gold mourning brooch set with seed pearls and rose foliate borders

A rare Victorian Bog oak mourning brooch, five ivy leaves surrounding a celtic harp centre with an ivy leaf drop. Possibly Irish. Very minor damage to the edge of one ivy leaf. Gold cased with a safety chain.

Early 19th century mourning brooch with hair and seed pearls under rock crystals

A collection of antique and vintage jewellery including an enamelled butterfly brooch, an engraved cross, paste brooches and earrings, a mourning brooch, stick pins and a Victorian intaglio ring.

A Victorian jet mourning brooch, designed as a hand clasping a posy. Length 6.3cm.

Two Victorian mourning brooches, set with plaited hair and seed pearls. Width 2.2cm and 2.0cm.

A Victorian gold cased mourning brooch, centring an onyx cabochon applied with a starburst mount set with seed pearls to a border set with pearls and inlaid with black enamel, locket compartment to rear, safety chain attached, 38 x 30mm

An onyx and diamond mourning brooch, central star burst old European cut diamond panel, central diamond 4.2mm; 14ct gold. Weight 14.4g.

A Victorian sapphire and diamond mourning brooch, ornate oval panel set with a central oval sapphire and two diamonds, vacant panel to back of brooch; 15ct yellow gold. Weight 5.9g.

15ct gold George III mourning brooch with agate centre and open locket back, approx 11.7 grams

Victorian 18ct gold mourning brooch with an open back locket, approx 8.3 grams

9ct Colonel brooch and 15ct mourning brooch, i)A textured and raised leaf and flower brooch set with, square cut paste stone within an engraved border. Weight 6.7grams. ii)A small Georgian mourning brooch centrally set with, hair in a circlet of seed pearl

A Victorian gold, enamel and human hair mourning bow brooch with two tassels drops

A gold and enamel mourning brooch, 15ct yellow gold, Victorian, of stylised form, featuring a central black enamelled leaf, set against two beaten stems, to reverse an oval photo panel, fitted with pin

Antique 9ct mourning brooch with open locket approx 3.5 by 4.5 cm, with safety chain (back tests as 9ct - front difficult to test), approx 15.6 grams

A quality gold mourning brooch. 15ct yellow gold, Victorian, presented as a stepped kite shaped panel brooch with central domed profile, beautifully detailed throughout with applied wire work of Etruscan inspiration, beading edges and a glass panel inserte

An 18ct yellow gold garnet and diamond mourning brooch, six cushion cut garnets with nine old European cut diamonds, 0.35ct in total (some gemstones missing). The reverse has a hair encased glass mourning locket. Total weight 7.6grams.

An enamelled mourning brooch pendant. 15ct yellow gold, Victorian, oval in form, centrally enamelled in a royal blue guilloche with central seed pearl set, framed by very finely worked rope framing and a final edge of white enamel with applied gold dot det

Victorian 9ct gold & enamel mourning brooch approx 9.4 grams

Gold mourning brooch, with enamel and pearls