Current Events

A Brief History of Mourning & Sentimental Jewellery. | 6 PM Thursday 28 September 2017

This presentation will cover the history of mourning jewellery from the mid-17th century to the early 20th century and examine its place in society, primarily in England and America, but with examples from Australia, France, and Germany also shown. Connections to memento mori and sentimental jewellery (matrimonial, friendship, and other tokens of esteem) will be explained, and Sarah will show a variety of styles found within the genre such as rococo, neoclassical, Regency, and Gothic revival. Sarah will also present examples of different materials common throughout the history of mourning jewellery including hair, enamel, gemstones, painted portrait miniatures, and photographs. Finally, she will discuss some of the reasons why a 250-year mourning jewellery industry fell out of favor at the turn of the 20th century and some of the common misconceptions about mourning jewellery that exist today.


Sarah Nehama has a degree in Art History and has been creating one-of-a-kind studio jewellery for over 25 years. She has lived and worked in Boston, Los Angeles, and now has her workshop in the Providence, Rhode Island area.
Sarah is an avid collector of antique mourning and sentimental jewellery and in 2012, co-curated an exhibition with the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston of mourning jewellery and art, and authored the companion book for the exhibit entitled, In Death Lamented: The Tradition of Anglo-American Mourning Jewelry.  Sarah has lectured at numerous historical and jewelry societies in the U.S. and presented a webinar for the American Society of Appraisers on mourning and sentimental jewellery.

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