Celebrate explores how jewelry gifts commemorate events, from weddings to birthdays to graduations. There are many ways we can say “I love you” with jewels. Boston Arts and Crafts jeweler Edward Everett Oakes designed this pair of wedding bands for Marguerite Woodworth and Henry Wriston in 1947.
Tour: A love of place and keepsakes from favorite vacation retreats or exotic locales are integral parts of New England life. Italy was one of the most popular tourist destinations for eighteenth-century Americans. This cameo depicting the birth of Venus came to Historic New England from the May family, associated with Rundlet-May House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It was carved in Rome by Constantin Roesler-Franz and may have been purchased there or in Portsmouth.
Remember: Grieving for those who have passed has always been an important human ritual. New Englanders often commemorate loved ones with wearable tokens. Mourning jewelry was frequently heirloomed, with new losses commemorated on the same pieces or on new additions to a set. This group of jet, pearl, and hair jewelry mourns several members of the Duncan family.
Collect documents the personal storytelling that comes from amassing a jewelry collection of any size. This section tells the stories of six jewelry collectors through some of their best pieces. This Edwardian-era white gold and diamond brooch was part of a bequest from Eleanor Appleton Fayerweather, a life-long collector with an excellent eye.
Create connects makers of great New England jewelry with the consumers who wore it. This section presents sketches, oral histories, and objects in process as well as finished goods made in New England, from costume jewelry to artisan pieces from the 1950s, such as this Trifari, Krussman & Fishel bracelet from the 1960s.