Bring That Back: Victorian Buckle Jewelry

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Bring That Back: Victorian Buckle Jewelry


As All Souls Day draws nigh, it seems fitting to shed light on the Victorians’ rich tradition of remembrance. In a time when one’s grasp on life was especially tenuous, mortality was keenly felt. Husbands lost their wives to childbirth, parents lost their infants to infection, women lost their men to the dangers of the industrial workplace. In the wake of such ubiquitous loss, the Victorians clung to a number of mourning traditions, which granted solace through remembrance. Postmortem photography, hairwreaths and jewelry made from the locks of departed loved ones, and the customary donning of black were all ways in which the Victorians honored, mourned, and coped with the loss of their dead.

Perhaps a more subtle mourning custom was the wearing of buckle jewelry. By its very form, the buckled belt suggests the never-ending circle of eternity. For the Victorians, it embodied a sentiment of enduring love and loyalty that transcended the grave. It was a gesture of devotion that adorned bracelets, rings, brooches, and lockets, many of which were personalized with a concealed lock of hair or an engraving of the deceased’s initials and death date.

Victorian-style buckle jewelry is timeless in its beauty and appeal, but the powerful sentiment behind its origins makes this tradition all the worthier of preservation.

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Photo Credits:
Bracelets: http://www.langantiques.com/products/item/40-1-105
Ring: https://www.etsy.com/listing/98424401/antique-buckle-ring-18k-yellow-gold?ref=market

A Day for Yorkshire Pudding

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National Yorkshire Pudding Day is upon us! The first published recipe for “Yorkshire Pudding” hails from Northern England and dates back to 1747 with Hannah Glasse’s bestselling cookbook, “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy.”  In those days, Yorkshire pudding was served as an appetizer course for roast dinners. Meat was expensive, and so every bit of it was utilized. The pudding was cooked beneath the roasting meat so as to sop up those delicious drippings, an essential source of fat in the working class diet.  Leftover pudding found its way to the next-day breakfast table, dressed with syrup or jam. Since its origins, Yorkshire pudding has been adapted into various traditional British recipes. “Toad in the Hole” is a Yorkshire pudding stuffed with sausage and doused in onion gravy. And the batter for Yorkshire pudding also yields a lovely pancake. This 18th century staple begs to accompany your next harvest stew or Sunday pot roast.

The Curious History of the Hope Diamond

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Evelyn Walsh McLean donning The Hope Diamond. Image by © CORBIS

On September 11th, 1792, chaos ruled in the streets of Paris. The French Revolution had begun and the royal family hid away from the rioting crowds. It was on this day, in the midst of mass turmoil and confusion, that the crown jewels vanished. Most precious among them was “The Blue Diamond” or “The French Blue,” a stunning feat of nature and prize of the French crown. It was described as being “of a faire violet” hue, at times appearing deep sapphire blue and in certain light possessing a rosy glow. In addition to its remarkable size (almost 70 carats), this unique coloring rendered the French Blue truly one of a kind. Indeed, only 1 in 100,000 diamonds are colored diamonds, and blue and pink are the most rare among them.