Wonderful Georgian early 19th century gold snake mourning brooch, the snake set with natural graduated well matched pearls, and he coils around a glazed locket compartment with inscription to the reverse ‘ Sarah Parker 1821’
Sarah Parker was an ancestor of Philip Morrell, a British Politician , and this piece came from the collection of Lady Ottoline Morrell, who was married to Philip. They socialised with the Bloomsbury Group, Bertrand Russell, (with whom she had a stormy love affair) writers such as T.S. Eliot and Aldous Huxley.
Her intrigue, unusual beauty and style was parodied in several novels; most famously as Hermione Roddice in DH Lawrence’s ‘Women In Love’ Aldous Huxley satirised her home Garsington Manor, and Ottoline as Priscilla Wimbush, in ‘Chrome Yellow’
Her epitaph at Garsington Church was composed jointly by T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf, her memorial by Eric Gill.
I bought this piece in 2017 from Woolley and Wallis, and sold it on. It has returned to me again, though sadly without the blonde hair - update! …
*actually this looks to be it’s twin- and so maybe more than one was made to honour her death
Measures 30 x 24mm
Weight - 7.9g
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