The Art of Mourning in the 19th century

12 July 2010

The fascinating obsession for mourning which reached its height during the Victorian period will be the subject of a talk at 12.30pn on Wednesday 21 July at Provost Skene's House, Guestrow, off Broad Street, Aberdeen.

It is easy to see the excess of 19th century mourning in images of Queen Victoria, the eternal widow, who spent 40 years in full mourning for her beloved Albert.

Aberdeen City Council curator Victoria Ward will focus on women's costume, specifically the colours worn for the different stages of mourning.

The colour of mourning is commonly accepted as black but white and other colours such as grey and purple have at times been just as important.

Victoria will also show images of items from the mourning jewellery collection, which includes Whitby jet, a bog oak brooch of Barra Castle and bracelets made from human hair.

Curator Victoria Ward said: "The more obvious and widely used form of mourning jewellery was that worn, as a souvenir of the deceased. The notion of keeping physical mementos of a person dead or alive is thousands of years old and not uncommon even today. A lock of hair has often been a common keepsake."

The talk last approximately 30 minutes. Booking is essential by (01224) 641086.

Provost Skene's House

Guestrow (between Broad Street and Flourmill Lane)


Tel: +44 (0) 1224 641086


Opening hours

Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm

Closed Sunday

Admission free