Mourning Locket for A. R.

  • Unidentified, Mourning Locket for A. R., ca. 1780, watercolor on ivory, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Edmund Bury, 1938.7.1

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Miniature paintings memorializing a friend or family member grew popular in the nineteenth century when the death of Prince Albert sent Queen Victoria into deep mourning. A name and death date on a locket, pin, or ring marked the passing of a loved one, and artists sometimes mixed a lock of the deceased person’s hair in with the pigment. The paintings often showed the bereaved person next to a tomb or cinerary urn, as in Mourning Locket for A. R. and Mourning Ring for William Burnside, and sometimes included symbols of grieving such as a dove or weeping willow.

Mourning Locket for A. R.
ca. 1780
On View
Not on view.
sight 1 5/8 x 7/8 in. (4.0 x 2.2 cm) lozenge
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Edmund Bury

Mediums Description
watercolor on ivory
  • Primitive – mourning
  • Monument – tomb
  • Landscape – tree – willow tree
  • Figure female – full length
  • State of being – emotion – sorrow
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI