Shades, Shadows, and Profiles: Silhouettes During the Time of Jane Austen

Candice will provide a short history of silhouettes, known as shades in Jane Austen’s time, and their various techniques (scissor cut, hollow-cut, painted). Some of the most famous professional “profile miniature” artists will be singled out, as well as a few famous amateurs, including the King’s daughter. The various Austen family silhouettes will be discussed, including two purported to be of Jane herself.

Augmenting her PowerPoint presentation, for in-person events, Candice will bring many examples of silhouettes from her own collection to provide a closer look at some of these miniature treasures. On display will be both silhouettes framed as pictures and mounted as pieces of jewelry. Magnifying glasses will be available for attendees to more closely examine the exquisite details of the smaller pieces. Many of Candice’s silhouettes, including the locket  shown here, were painted by the same artist who painted the famous silhouette of Jane Austen’s sister, Cassandra.

Mourning Practices During the Time of Jane Austen

Candice will explain the guidelines for full mourning and half mourning during the Regency period, in terms of dress and behavior; conventions for curtailing social activities for widows and other family members; rules for court mourning; the differences between private and public mourning, and private and public funerals. Jane Austen’s death and funeral (only 4 people attended) will be used as an example of private mourning. Candice will demonstrate how ladies’ magazines of the period covered the deaths of members of the royal family, including providing fashion prints of mourning wear. Public proclamations of court mourning (for the death of a member of the royal family) dictate what fabrics and colors were allowed to be worn for each stage of mourning. Only for the women, of course. Men were much less restricted in their wardrobe. Jane Austen’s letters as well as the famous scrap book of Barbara Johnson will be used to demonstrate how middle class women adapted their wardrobes for mourning. Styles of Regency period mourning jewelry will also discussed.

Candice’s Powerpoint presentation will include images of important funerals (eg Princess Charlotte and Lord Nelson), announcements of court mourning, mourning fashions, and mourning jewelry. For in-person events, examples of Regency mourning jewelry from Candice’s collections will be available for attendees to view.

Love and Death: Sentimental Jewelry in the Time of Jane Austen

The grand parures of precious gems worn by royalty and other aristocrats of the Georgian and Regency eras are what we see in paintings and in museums. But the ordinary people, who could never afford such pieces, favored a more sentimental type of jewelry, which was accessible and less expensive. The sentiment of such jewelry fell into two categories: the sentiment of love and the sentiment of death. In this presentation, Candice will explore both types, including symbols and iconography of mourning and of romance, all of which would have been well understood by people of the time. The use of hair in both types of jewelry will also be discussed.

Candice’s Powerpoint presentation will include lots of detailed images of mourning jewelry and love tokens from museums, including a mourning brooch with a lock of Jane Austen’s hair from the Jane Austen’s House Museum, as well as many examples from her own collection, including lover’s eyes, such as the one shown here. For in-person events, items from her collection will be on display for attendees to examine.

Sumner Library Exhibit

In the summer of 2017, items from Candice’s collections were on exhibit at the Sumner Library in Minneapolis, as part of a commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen. The exhibit included fashion prints of mourning clothes, a muslin fichu, fans, purses, scent bottles, and vinaigrettes — all from the period of Jane Austen.