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mourning-locket / jewellery-case

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Mourning locket with a gold case enclosing an ornamental motif in curled hair-work with seed-pearls and gold wire on a blue enameled guilloché ground with a pendant loop and a border with flowers and leaves in chased gold relief. The reverse has engine-turned decoration with an oval panel with an inscription in the centre with a border of chased gold flower and leaves. In the original oval leather case, labelled on the base.


  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1826
  • Production place

    • Made in: Leeds
    • (Europe,British Isles,England,West Yorkshire,The City of Leeds Metropolitan Borough,Leeds (West Yorkshire))
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 7.45 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        Harriet Bower was born July 8th 1809 died March 15th 1826. Caroline Sophia Bower was born June 23rd 1812 died Jan 9th 1826.
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        base of original leather case
      • Inscription Content

        JOHN WILKINSON Jeweller and Silversmith, LEEDS. Watches Made Cleaned and Repair'd MOURNING RINGS expeditioully (sic) made.
  • Curator's comments

    Text from catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no. 582:
    The lock of hair arranged in a single or double curl and combined with cut hair-work in this manner was popular for at least three-quarters of the century. Hair-work was practised both professionally and at home, as indicated by contemporary pattern-books and instructions (see 'Hair Work' in the Ladies Companion, vol. 2, June-December 1850, pp. 44-46, 61-63, and Halford & Young, The Jewellers' Book of Patterns in Hair Work, London, 1864). The Lock of Hair, published by Alexanna Speight in 1871, is probably the most comprehensive instruction manual, and illustrates the continued fashion for these hair-work motifs, which appear in dated pieces from the early years of the century. (C.Gere)


  • Bibliography

    • Gere et al 1984 582 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • HG.974 (masterlist number)


If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

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Object reference number: MCT1922

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