Antique Victorian Prince of Wales swivel mourning brooch with photo and hairwork

A large and impressive ca. 1870s mourning brooch, with a swiveling panel that reveals a photo of a handsome young man on one side, and an elaborate Prince of Wales style hair work arrangement on the other.

The frame of the brooch is oval with mounted, decorative accents. The Prince of Wale plumes are echoed here at the north/south/east/west points. This piece was most likely made to memorialize and honor the memory of the young man pictured in the sepia photograph, a sturdy fellow with a square jaw and wavy, blond hair. His photo is trimmed in a gold bezel. The verso holds three locks of his hair, as well as gold wire, and pearls, against an alabaster-colored backing. This style of hair work, with three "plumes" of hair curled and gathered, is called "Prince of Wales" because of the resemblance to the heraldic seal of The Prince of Wales. The pearls represent tears.

A touching and remarkably well-preserved pice, given the age and functionality. Secures with a long pin and "c" clasp.

Measurements: 2.5 x 2.25 x .5", 33.6 grams total weight
Era: Victorian, ca. 1870s
Markings: N/A
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