Mourning Brooch for Susanna Mason, 1785

Summary

Before the 20th century, death came early and often. One way people coped was to wear jewelry as memorials to their loved ones. Over the centuries, mourning jewelry followed the prevailing fashions. Shortly after independence, Americans favored illuminated, miniature brooches and pendants painted on ivory. These featured shapes derived from classical design, symbols such as urns and weeping women dressed as ancient Romans.

Before the 20th century, death came early and often. One way people coped was to wear jewelry as memorials to their loved ones. Over the centuries, mourning jewelry followed the prevailing fashions. Shortly after independence, Americans favored illuminated, miniature brooches and pendants painted on ivory. These featured shapes derived from classical design, symbols such as urns and weeping women dressed as ancient Romans.

Artifact

Brooch

Date Made

1785

Subject Date

November 1785

Creators

Unknown

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

61.151.35

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Gold (Metal)
Ivory (Tooth component)
Glass (Material)
Enamel (Fused coating)
Human hair
Sepia (Ink)

Technique

Grisaille
Hairwork

Color

Blue
White (Color)
Sepia (Color)

Dimensions

Height: 1.313 in

Width: .75 in

Inscriptions

obverse: Sacred Will I Keep Thy Dear Remains verso, engraved: Susanna Mason Ob. Nov. 1785 AE 50

Connect 3

Discover curious connections between artifacts.

Learn More