Death Becomes Her
Designer Peter O'Brien pointed me in the direction of this wonderful exhibition, “Death Becomes Her”, an exhibit of mourning attire from 1815 to 1915 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Recently, without realising it, another collection snuck up on me, a wonderful mourning button (as seen in my Halloween treasury) was found in Isle sur la Sorgue, morsels of delicate black lace (it seems there is much higher demand for white lace so I can get lucky!) were found in Roque d'Antheron and intricate jet beading appliques and dress panels called out to me in Carpentras, Pernes les Fontaines & Puyvert, take me home they all whispered.
Much like my obsession with Lover's eye jewellery - I can't help but wonder (and often invent) the love stories behind each piece.
Racegoers at Royal Ascot in 1910, after the death of Edward VII. It became known as ‘Black Ascot’. Photograph: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
Detail of a Victorian mourning dress. Photograph: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Actor Pola Negri (centre) is supported by friends at Rudolph Valentino’s funeral. Photograph: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
The Wonderful Lynn Yaeger
Lynn Jaeger, who came to visit me in my pop up shop, finally had her wonderful collection of mourning jewellery recognised as museum - collection - worthy and she wrote about it here on Vogue.
I loved her opening lines - they 'consoled' my collectors soul!
"If you are a truly compulsive shopper, there are lies you tell yourself about your addiction. It’s not just mindless buying, it’s curating a collection! You’re not just a consumer, you’re a connoisseur"
Here is one of the books in our familys silk archives which features black passementerie trims for mourning, from 1867.