Victorian Black Enamel and Seed Pearl Hinged Mourning bangle bracelet.
The Victorians were characterized in the 19th century by a generous dose of social sentimentality. While the world experienced a large amount of growth during the Industrial Revolution in the middle of the century, death rates were higher than today and it was not uncommon to commemorate and honor death in fashion and jewelry. This became even more the vogue when the leading monarch of the Western world, Queen Victoria of England, lost her husband and plunged herself, her family and her court into the trappings of mourning. Her mourning was so long lasting that it influenced mainstream fashion beyond English shores and the language, colors and iconography of mourning became the zeitgeist for decades.
This bangle is typical of the bracelet styes popular in the latter half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The hallmarks indicate that this is a Russian bracelet, the base of which is made of 875 Silver. The enamel is in wonderful condition and its somber tone is offset by a dramatic, central starburst pattern set with large 4mm wide split pearl and off-shoots of graduated seed pearls (pearls sized 2mm and under), a typical Victorian representation of tears.
MATERIALS: .875 Silver, Enamel, Natural pearl.
CONDITION: VERY GOOD.
Inner Oval Diameter: 2" (52mm) x 2.25" (57mm)
Inner circumference measures 6 5/8" inches.
Bangle Dimensions: Measures 3/4" (20mm) wide.
HALLMARKS: The hallmarks are stamped on the tongue of the clasp and inside the bracelet. We are able to identify the silver purity marks for 84, the equivalent of .875 silver, as well as the Cyrillic importation marks into St. Petersburg, Russia, plus the possibility of a Kokoshnik mark with a right facing visage which would date the bracelet to the turn of the century. The makers mark, MM, is an as yet unknown manufacturer.
WEIGHT: 48 grams