MY MOTHER.

I am lucky enough to have in my personal library a book entitled ‘The Mourner’s Friend or Sighs of Sympathy For Those Who Sorrow’. It is a collection of prose and verse compiled to give comfort to the grieving. Edited by J.B. Syme, published in 1852 by S.A. Howland in Worcester, Mass, USA; its contents are by American and European authors and some surprising famous names. My copy of the book has some water damage, ageing paper, and precarious binding, so before it deteriorates my project to preserve the words of the authors will find its way here on the MOLAM blog. 

MY MOTHER.

I THINK of thee, my mother, in my sad and lonely hours,
And the thought of thee comes o’er me, as the breath of
summer flowers.
Like the haze upon the ocean, the zephyr on the lea,
As the fragrant air of evening, is the thought of thee to
me.

I dream I hear thy voice, mother, and see thy gentle
smile,
It cheers me in my waking hours, and keeps my lips from
Guile ;
For oft when sin had lured me erring feet astray,
I’ve thought I heard thee, pointing thy child the better
way.

But many a tear has passed, mother, since, numbered with
the dead,
They placed thy lovely form, mother, within earth’s clay-
cold bed.
And many a change has come upon thy little ones, since
there
They bowed in speechless agony, and breathed their
orphan prayer.

I miss thee more each year, mother; I miss thee more
to-night,
As thoughts of thee rush o’er my soul, with vivid mem-
ory’s might;
The death-bed and the mourning friends, the last farewell
and kiss,
Are present, as if scarce an hour had passed since that and
this.

A child may soon forget her grief; the very stroke whose
power
Has robbed her of some priceless gem, is fleeting as the
hour.
Oft in thy room, my merry feet have sought some place
to hide,
Nor thought, amid my childish glee, ‘t was there my
mother died.

In death, thy child was placed within thine aged mother’s
arms,
For sure thou wast that she would keep thy darling from
all harms ;
And faithfully she cherished her, that nature good and
mild,
for the love she bore thee, mother, was lavished on thy
child.

But soon she passed away, mother; God claimed her as
his own,
‘Twas meet that she should pass to him, yet it left us sad
and lone.
And when they all were weeping, they little daughter wept,
But it all seemed strange to me, mother; I thought she
only slept.

She slept the sleep of death, mother; and they laid her in
her grave,
And the long grass grows about it, and the wild flowers
gently wave
O’er the head of the loved sleeper, whose spirit is at rest,
In the bosom of her Saviour, in the mansions of the blessed.

Victorian carved Whitby jet mourning brooch for a lost mother.

Victorian carved Whitby jet mourning brooch for a lost mother.

http://www.rubylane.com/item/596915-PT00222/Victorian-Whitby-Jet-Mourning-brooch

An Exquisite Palette: A Dedication to Two

Here is a re-posting of a short piece I wrote for the fabulous site Art of Mourning. This brooch is truly a work of art in gold, black enamel and hairwork; it is dedicated to two women from the same family. It is another piece from my personal MOLAM collection of mourning jewellery.  Enjoy!

Click here to read the post For An Exquisite Palette: A Dedication to Two.

A mid-Victorian mourning brooch with hairwork dedicated to Agnes & Sarah Robinson

A mid-Victorian mourning brooch with hairwork dedicated to Agnes & Sarah Robinson

Memento Mori in Jewellery: Anachronistic 1780s White Enamel Ring

Here is a re-posting of an indepth analysis of a spectacular and unique ring circa 1780 which Hayden Peters wrote for his fabulous site Art of Mourning. This ring, dedicated to Ann Staneway, is from my personal collection of mourning jewellery.  Enjoy!

Click here to read the post Memento Mori in Jewellery: Anachronistic 1780s White Enamel Ring Where Memento Mori Meets Neo-Classicism.

Anne Staneway 1780 OB 18 Mar 1780 AE 20

Ann Staneway OB 18 Mar 1780 AE 20

How Society Entered Mourning: c. 1680 – 1700 Memento Mori Mourning Ring

Here is a re-posting of a terrific analysis of an early memento mori ring Hayden Peters wrote for his reference site Art of Mourning. This exquisite ring is from my own personal collection of mourning jewellery, and is a true delight to have.  Enjoy!

Click here to read How Society Entered Mourning.

A Memento Mori Mourning Ring c. 1680

A Memento Mori Mourning Ring c. 1680

Mourning, History & Jewellery in Boston

Mourning ring made for John Gray, the infant son of John and Mary (Otis) Gray, who died six days after his birth in September 1763. The ring is made of gold, with three joined enameled scrolls and large square crystal over gold foil skull set into raised, rayed mount flanked by two small round facet-cut crystals. Scrolls contain text in raised gold Roman capitals in black cloisonné enamel.: "J:GRAY OB.17.SEP.1763.AE 6D."

Mourning ring made for John Gray, the infant son of John and Mary (Otis) Gray, who died six days after his birth in September 1763. The ring is made of gold, with three joined enameled scrolls and large square crystal over gold foil skull set into raised, rayed mount flanked by two small round facet-cut crystals. Scrolls contain text in raised gold Roman capitals in black cloisonné enamel.: “J:GRAY OB.17.SEP.1763.AE 6D.”

Before it closes on the 31st January 2013 you must go and visit the exhibition In Death Lamented at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston – that is, if you are lucky enough to live close by!

Unfortunately we are based on the other side of the world, but I was wise enough to purchase a copy of the accompanying publication which I had to review on Amazon. I couldn’t help myself, I do that sort of thing.

Sarah Nehama I am proud to say has contributed to this blog. She is a jeweller herself and an avid collector of mourning jewellery, many pieces of hers you will see in the collection. She also authored the book. Here is a fascinating interview with her discussing mourning jewellery and items in the exhibition.

If you have seen the exhibit please let me know what you thought of it below in the comments. As a collector of mourning jewellery I would have loved to have seen it myself!

Six Degrees of Thorvaldsen: The Figure of Night

Here is a re-posting of a piece I wrote for the fabulous site Art of Mourning. This brooch, Nyx, is from the MOLAM collection of yours truly. Although a humble piece, as you will read it is rich in its social & art historical context, and jewellery tradition. Happy reading!

Click here to read the post Six Degrees of Thorvaldsen: The Figure of Night

Nyx (Night) with her two children Sleep and Death, in Vulcanite

For Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven

Here is a re-posting of a short piece I wrote for the fabulous site Art of Mourning. This brooch is from the MOLAM collection of yours truly.  Enjoy!

Click here to read the post For Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

In Memory of My Dear Child