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  • Brooch, about 1855

    Sentimental brooch which incorporates a lock of hair of a loved one.The inclusion of black enamel around the hair indicates that the loved one was likely deceased."MBL" may be the initials of the deceased.Half mourning called for jewelry that was not flashy or showed too much shiny gold metal, so many pieces used in half mourning include dark stones or enamel.This was likely made simultaneously with the plaited hair jewelry popular in the 1850s and 1860s.

  • Bogwood Brooch, about 1865

    Bog wood is petrified wood, usually oak or pine, found in Irish bogs. It was carved into trinkets and jewelry in the mid-late nineteenth century.Because of its association with Ireland the jewelry often includes Celtic or early Irish Christian references.Bog wood jewelry was shown at most of the exhibitions of the nineteenth century. This piece is part of a large collection given to the institution by Susan Stark of Lansing, MI.