After my last post about those terrifying earrings, I thought we should do another post about ghastly Victorian jewelry.
I found the following in Joan Evans’s A History of Jewellery: 1100-1870 (2nd ed.), 1989, p. 179.
“The characteristic English trends were towards simplicity and sentiment. Queen Victoria wore classic parures on state occasions, but at other times favouring trifling sentimental jewels, such as a bracelet set with the first teeth of all her children”.
NOPE NOPE NOPE
While I know ivory was widely used in jewelry at this time, and while I’m sure (or at least very hopeful) that Victoria’s jewelers would have cleaned up the teeth so there was nothing gross about them, I recall the horror of stumbling across my own baby teeth, which my mother had saved. Let me tell you, friends, that bloody teeth roots do not get any more charming with age, certainly not 15+ years of it.
An academic friend told me she heard that this was a gift Albert actually gave to Victoria, which strikes me as a lot more plausible, as Victoria notoriously hated pregnancy and babies, and wasn’t hugely fussed by her kids as they got older, although she did end up having closer relationships with some of them. The only person she seemed to be truly sentimental about was Albert.
If Albert did have the bracelet made, it wouldn’t be the first time he’d done something like this. In 1847, when their eldest daughter lost her first tooth (which Albert apparently yanked right from her mouth), Albert commemorated the moment by having this brooch made for Victoria:
Yep. That’s a tooth.
However, I can’t find any verification about the tooth bracelet. Does anyone have any information about that?
Frankly, I think Albert got the better end of the deal. He at least got a sexy private picture of his wife:
I bet you anything Victoria (who, per her own diaries, loved herself some sex) sent him this picture with the hope of getting one of her own. An ole painting of Prince Albert and his Prince Albert, if you know what I mean, wink wink.
And all she got was some lousy tooth jewelry.