Decorative art created to memorialize and commemorate death has been a part of Western culture for centuries. Extraordinarily beautiful examples of mourning art and memorial jewelry for members of royalty and the aristocracy date back to the 16th century in England and Europe. Medieval references to commemorative art predate even the extant pieces now in museums. During the Georgian and Victorian eras, outstanding pieces of mourning jewelry and artwork were found in a majority of homes in America, Britain, and Europe.
Without being morbid or macabre, this book provides a fascinating text about mourning practices and historical influences that shaped individual and cultural perspectives surrounding death in the 18th and 19th centuries. During these centuries, memorial art reached its zenith in artistic beauty and some of the finest examples from collections in America, England, France, Germany, and Switzerland are featured here. Over 500 color photos display jewelry, portrait miniatures, pottery and glassware, paintings and sculpture, posthumous photographs, hair-work memorials, and more. Current values are provided in the captions. Historians, dealers, and collectors alike will find this book an excellent resource for Victoriana, Georgian and Victorian memorial arts, and antique jewelry, subjects never before treated together in a single volume.