ERIE BASIN ANTIQUES
Open by Appointment
Late 1700s Hair Work Mourning Pendant with Folk Portrait, Gilt Metal, $1395
One of the sweetest 18th century mourning pendants I’ve seen. I think what’s most appealing about it is its slightly naive quality. The face of the locket has fine strands of auburn hair arranged onto mother of pearl in the shape of a willow tree, under which is a little pink enamel urn decorated with seed pearls and gold wire. The hair miniature is quite well composed and nicely assembled, but it’s not nearly as delicate as many of the professionally done miniatures. Basically it reads more clearly as hair than one like this. But I find that sort of appealing, especially given the context from the watercolor portrait of a pretty young woman on the reverse side. It’s equally folky, and underneath it on the inside of the locket is a little card that reads “My dear sister Sarah at 22.” I suspect Sarah’s sister made the watercolor and assembled it in the locket when she died. It’s very lovingly done, and somehow feels more sincere than some of the more professionally done mourning pieces of the same period.