Jon: (WORD OF THE WEEK) How macabre…

Victorian folk were such Debbie Downers!


Mourning BroochAs some of you may know, I am a total fag. As a result, I’m into some pretty classically faggy things. One of the most prominent of these activities has got to be collecting vintage brooches (side note: I bet you thought that was spelled with an “a” after the “o”. WRONG!), which is a hobby I picked up a couple of years ago. 

I’m in no way an expert on the topic, I just buy stuff I like when I see it.  My favorite category of brooches is for sure cameos. So the other day I was out fantasy shopping at a couple of fancy-town vintage shops,and  a piece similiar to the one on the left caught my eye.

“How interesting!” I thought. “A photo cameo framed in silk! I must learn more!”

So, I approached the sales girl and asked about it.


Mourning Ring


“Oh, that is a great piece of mourning jewelry.” She said. “The child’s hair is still in such great condition. Very rare!”

Mourning jewelry? CHILD’S HAIR??? It turns out that Victorian people had a serious boner for being sad. This trend was started when Queen Victoria’s husband passed away and she went into full on serious mourning for 40 YEARS! She even dressed her servants in head to toe black.

So apparently they didn’t have E! or Bravo back then ( losers ), because the only fashion icon regular Victorian ladies had to mimic was a stodgy senior citizen Queen. Thus, a creepy trend is born. The whole country went goth for her and adopted mourning as a permenant form of fashion expression.

Mourning BraceletLucky for the ladies of the time, they were not expected to ACTUALLY mimic Queen Victoria and mourn their husbands for the rest of their days .  

No, they were only expected to wear head to toe black and a veil covering their faces for one year, followed by 1-2 more without the veil.

Geez. I’m all for listening to The Cure, but this is getting out of hand!

In addition to donning full black garb, those in mourning were allowed to ornament themselves with morbid remembrances of the deceased. These pieces of jewelry were made almost exclusively of black stones, gold, photo’s of the deceased, and braided human hair from their bodies! I guess you were lucky if the person you were mourning had blonde hair, because then you could jazz up the whole black-on-black thing! 


I didn’t want you to leave Gaycondo totally bummed out, so here is this to watch:


4 Responses to “Jon: (WORD OF THE WEEK) How macabre…”

  1. 1 EM
    March 15, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    muaha! nice touch with the farty “victorian music” video. That can of creamed corn is TOO much!!!!

  2. 2 Nickey Robo
    March 16, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    that video totally made me fart.

  3. 3 The Bearded Traveler
    March 16, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I hadn’t noticed you were gay….

    I saw a portrait of the young Queen Vic once that looked like my friend Steph.

  4. 4 Kyle
    March 17, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    I love this post! I’m a costume design grad student who is teaching a basic costume history class and i had to print this out for my students! Thanks for making my students think I am cool!

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