Ref MJ1 18th Century Mourning Miniature
A gold navette pendant, circa 1792, containing a mourning miniature with an unusual sepulchral inscription. The gold frame holds an ivory tableau painted in sepia and decorated with macerated hair, set under crystal. A woman in classical dress grieves at a tomb under a weeping willow tree, as an angel hovers above bearing a crown. The tomb is inscribed : Oh that my numbers like my tears could flow, To paint thy worth transcendent as my woe. To reverse is a weave of plaited hair under crystal. The inscription is from an epitaph quoted in A Collection of Epitaphs and Monumental Inscriptions  :
On Mr Walmesley
Who died Oct. 30th, 1791
O! That my numbers like my tears could flow,
To paint thy worth transcendent as my woe!
Then should thy name to future times descend,
The widow's refuge, and the orphan's friend,
Where opens now the hospitable door?
Where can it open? Walmesley is no more!
The pendant measures 1 and 2/3 inches by one inch and is well executed and immaculate.