A Highly Unusual 19thC Decoupage Mourning Ornament

Origin: English
Period: Mid/Late 19thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1860-80
Height: 15 inches

The unusual decoupage and reverse glass painted two piece ornament, in the form of a hand blown glass egg on stand decorated in sepia with a full length photographic portrait of a lady in period dress leaning on a sideboard on a starburst motif, the stand with a further starburst motif and an image of a large stags head, the depictions on a blue and pink ground survives from the mid to late Victorian period, most likely created in mourning or remembrance.

Considering the fragility and age, the piece is in sound condition with no chips or cracks. There is wear to the wholes paintwork, with the blue and pink ground flaking in places.

Rather than displaying typically dark colours, namely blacks, as most mourning ornaments or jewellery do, this object seems to be more of an buoyant remembrance embracing colour and light in memoriam, the marriage of the ladies portrait and the stag is obviously significant in some way, perhaps it was the main charge in the families armorial or perhaps simply the lady in question was affiliated in a significant way with deer. Either way, it makes for an intriguing tale.

This unconventional homage to a lady proves a mysterious and wonderfully beguiling object that fascinates and puzzles, beautifully proud in its peculiarity.