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This gold oval brooch with a blue and white enamel border, is set with a painting on ivory of a veiled woman weeping next to an inscribed plinth and urn. Human hair appears to be mixed into the pigment. A winged putti hovers over her head holding a scroll that reads "Welcome." The woman is seated beneath a fir tree. The brooch is set at the center top with a gold loop for suspension as a pendant. The reverse of the brooch is set with human hair. The brooch closes with a hinged pin and hook on the reverse.
ivory (tooth component)
enamel (fused coating)
Mehitable Livermore was only twenty-nine years old when she died in 1793. Inscribed with her initials and the phrase, Not lost but gone before, it reminded mourner and viewer alike that all will be reunited after death.
"WEL- / COME / ML / NOT / LOST / BUT / GONE / BEFORE" (Painted)
Title Mourning brooch Accession Number 1918.1254
Title Brass button with eagle, anchor and stars Accession Number 1935.412
1 7/16 x 1 x 1/4 (HxWxD) (inches)
Gift of Miss Annie H. Thwing
"Hidden Treasures from Elegant Eras," Historic Jewelry from the Collections of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities presented by Shreve, Crump & Low, September 15 - November 30, 1995. "Jewelry at Historic New England," Online exhibit presented by Historic New England launched September 30, 2007 at www.historicnewengland.org/jewelryhistory/.
Pictured in Sage, Adrienne, "Wealth, Style and Sentiment," Historic New England (Winter/Spring 2005): 6. For more information on hair jewelry see Bell, C. Jeanenne, "Collector's Encyclopedia of Hairwork Jewelry," (1998); Bury, Shirley, "Jewellery, 1789-1910," v. 2 (1991): 680-698; Campbell, Mark, "The Art of Hair Work: Hair Braiding and Jewelry of Sentiment with Catalog of Hair Jewelry," Eds. Jules & Kaethe Kliot (facsimile of 1875 printing, 1996); Dawes, Ginny Reddington & Corinne Davidov, "Victorian Jewelry: Unexplored Treasures," (1991): 139-143; Fales, Martha Gandy, "Jewelry in America, 1600-1900," (1995): 98-107, 214-219.