Return to Tradition of Mourning Jewelry
This demi parure, or partial set of matching jewelry, consists of a brooch and a pair of earrings. The earrings are constructed in a style known as day and night, and they include a removable bottom section. Worn alone, the smaller top piece was considered appropriate daytime jewelry; combined, the two sections created a look more in keeping with evening dress. The dark gems are melanite garnets, which appear black but have a deep red tint when held to the light.
Although the earrings and brooch clearly function as a set, the two were actually used to commemorate different individuals. The earrings bear the inscription “J. Jackson Obt Nov. 16th-1824 Aged 62 Yrs.” The deceased was Johnson Jackson, born in Boston in 1761 to Joseph Jackson and Susanna (Ruggles) Jackson.
The engraving on the back of the brooch, “W.A. Warner Obt Dec. 21st 1830 Æ 34 Yrs[,]” is for William Augustus Warner, the youngest child of Jonathan and Hannah (Mandell) Warner. William and his wife, Sarah Inches Cobb, had four childen; he died shortly before the birth of their son Hermann. These jewels came to the MHS with Hermann’s papers.