Bowerbird

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Beginning in the 14th Century, mourning rings were a common way to memorialize the dead. They were often paid for by the deceased, and bequeathed in wills.

They came in many forms. The molded one above is a handclasp of farewell. Many used woven hair.

The rings usually included the details of the deceased, engraved on the inside or outside of the band.

Littleton mourning ring found in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. © Birmingham City Council

Unless the loved one was a child, or perhaps unmarried, the choice of stone was something black.

Though the original tradition died out at the end of the 19th Century, it was revived briefly in the 30s & 40s, in the form of Bakelite portrait rings.

If you want one, it’ll cost ya, but they sure are lovely.

flint-cottage-and-polesden-safe-148

 

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Victorian amethyst and peridot spider pendant

Victorian 9ct Gold Amethyst & Peridot Spider Pendant

Who doesn’t love spider jewelry? Certainly no one who reads this blog. Because the field is vast, I’m limiting myself to antiques from a couple of auction sites.

Sterling Silver Spider Pin-Victorian with Emeralds, Diamonds, and Rubies

Sterling Silver Spider Pin-Victorian with Emeralds, Diamonds, and Rubies

 

Signed Tiffany stick pin

Signed Tiffany stick pin

 

Pink quartz crystal pin

Pink quartz crystal pin

 

Topaz and pear brooch, c1900

Topaz and pear brooch, c1900

 

Agate and diamond brooch

Agate and diamond brooch

 

And if you have $24,995 to throw around…

Faberge diamond and sapphire brooch

Faberge diamond and sapphire brooch

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Chocolate Fix

chocolateskull

Chocolate Skulls.com, $399

Halloween is about three months away, and I’ve got a hankerin’ for a spooky treat. Problem is, most places don’t yet have their Halloween collections out. But a few places know that every day is Halloween.

fika

Fika, $65

Black Chocolate Company, $118

Black Chocolate Company, $118

Smash Candies, 10 for $8

Smash Candies, 10 for $8

If you’re in the mood for a skull, anatomically correct models can be had for a pretty penny; more fanciful ones for a pittance.  Note: all photos link to the product. Because I’m no tease.

Bond Street, $14

Bond Street, $14

Bond Street has a new Fall Collection, but I love their tin of chocolate skulls from the Divine Collection. You can’t buy them online, but you can give them a call.

John & Kira's, $3.75

John & Kira’s, $3.75

Melchior, £6.45

Melchior, £6.45

Special Edition, £8.45

Special Edition, £8.45

If you’re not ready for something quite so scary, try pumpkin bon-bons, or a darling owl, though the shipping on the owl may set you back if you’re in the U.S.

Pushin' Daisies, $19.95

Pushin’ Daisies, $19.95

Here’s a gift for that special person from whom you stole a job or a lover. Delivered with the note: “eat your heart out.”

Zachary's Hope, 12 for $18

Zachary’s Hope, 12 for $18

Sweet U Off Your Feet, 12 for $21

Sweet U Off Your Feet, 12 for $21

Sweeties by Kim, 12 for $24

Sweeties by Kim, 12 for $24

Oreo fans have a number of choices, from whimsical to elegant.

Morke's Chocolates, $16.95

Morke’s Chocolates, $16.95

Li-Lac Chocolates, $25

Li-Lac Chocolates, $25

Sugar Plum, 4 for $19.95

Sugar Plum, 4 for $19.95

Several shops have entire lines of spooky chocolates available. Be sure to click through to see all the delightful offerings! In addition to the Zombie Bar, Sugar Plum also offers a Halloween Pizza, and a Clown Lollipop. You have to give them credit for including the latter under Halloween.  Li-Lac has a full page of creepy candy, including Mummy in a Coffin, Death Pops, and Bat Pops.  Morke’s has an irresistible Eyeball Box.

The Frosted Petticoat, 18 for $20

The Frosted Petticoat, 18 for $20

The Frosted Petticoat, 10 for $20

The Frosted Petticoat has some of the loveliest chocolates I’ve seen. They have a full line of scary stuff for the discerning that won’t break your budget.

Trace Stuff, $7.99

Trace Stuff, $7.99

If you’re handy in the kitchen, you can make your own spooky chocolate with molds from Trace Stuff.

The Frosted Petticoat, $14

The Frosted Petticoat, $14

But if you aren’t, we’ll never tell.

 

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Kaleidoscope, or Paperweight button

Kaleidoscope, or Paperweight button

Every once in a while–okay, fairly often–I get sucked down a rabbit hole. This week’s warren is vintage buttons. Naturally, I had to go looking for spooky ones.

Kaleidoscope buttons were first made in the 19th century. A metal plate is covered with a design, and a glass dome goes on top. Sometimes the dome is faceted, to create more of a kaleidoscope effect. The button above is probably much more recent–mid 20th century or so.

Black Glass with Carnival Luster

Black Glass with Carnival Luster

Molded Glass Bat

Molded Black Glass

Black Glass with Gold Luster

Black Glass with Gold Luster

Black glass buttons became popular in the Victorian era. They were made to imitate the jet buttons the Queen wore in her mourning.  In the 20th century, most of these beautiful buttons were produced by skilled glass craftsmen in Czechoslovakia.

Brass Escutcheon Style

Brass Escutcheon Style

Brass Pictorial Button

Brass Pictorial Button

Metal buttons from the Victorian era were made mostly of brass and copper. Pictorial buttons are highly prized. This spider looks like it might be domed as well.

Carved and Tinted Celluloid

Carved and Tinted Celluloid

Celluloid was the first man-made plastic, produced from wood and cotton fibers. It was very popular in the early 20th century. Highly flammable, it was eventually replaced with other materials.

Composition with Glitter

Composition with Glitter

This fantastic, glittery spider was listed merely as “composition,” which could mean anything, but commonly referred to “horn.” Horn buttons were ground cow hooves, pressed in a mold with other items–like glitter.

Moonglow

Moonglow

Moonglow buttons became popular in the mid-20th century. They were made in West Germany and Czechoslovakia. They have an opaque glass base with a satin finish, and are covered with clear glass to increase their luster. Moonglow subjects tend toward the pretty, but I did find this delicious pair sporting Halloween green stripes.  (PS: I totally bought these. Yep.)

Brooks Button

Brooks Button

Another Brooks

Another Brooks

Edith and Alan Brooks hand-painted on plastic and glass blanks. They worked in England in the mid-20th century. The Brooks were primarily painters, and didn’t make many buttons, so these are rare collectors’ items.

I’m going to stop now. Thanks for indulging me in my little obsession. If you’ve caught the bug, learn about antique buttons at Vintage Buttons.net, Byson Buttons, and Ohio Buttons.

I leave you with some hand-made modern buttons.

Pumpkin Buttons by Lindabelinda

Pumpkin Buttons by Lindabelinda

Pyrography buttons by Wooden Heart Buttons

Pyrography buttons by Wooden Heart Buttons

Crypt Keeper Raku Buttons by Wondrous Strange

Crypt Keeper Raku Buttons by Wondrous Strange

 

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