I’ll Love You Forever: Victorian Mourning Jewelry

by:   |   Nov 22 2013


The Victorians didn’t fuck around when it came to hair and death, so it only seems natural that they intertwined the two back in the day. Hair was a symbol of femininity, comfort, and virtue: a woman’s power and sexuality grew with every inch, so these ladies grew it as long as possible. (Short hair equaled a freak-ass bitch.) They had tiny jars called “hair receivers,” where women could collect their strands as they brushed it, since it was such a treasured commodity. So it makes sense that when a loved one would pass, their hair would remain a symbol for the living to hold onto…forever and ever and ever.

The deceased’s hair would be made into different types of jewelry, rings, brooches, and pendants, which would then be worn by the living to remember and honor their loved one. Often times, this jewelry included “jet,” a type of fossilized coal, because of its deep, dark somber quality. These people did NOT play; they kept it dark, sad and dragged things out for as long as possible. (Super goth.) Weirdly enough, Queen Victoria was largely responsible for cultivating the dramatic art of mourning. Throughout her entire 40-year reign, she was in mourning for her beloved Prince Albert. She even created a manual detailing some very specific etiquette on how a family should mourn a loved one. It included the type of dress to wear—down to the color and materials—as well as specific periods of time for different relationships, etc. Kind of makes you feel less dramatic for sending your ex that ultra-dramatic goodbye letter, right?





in memoriam

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Creative Director of G.A.L.

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