Ref CH1 Celadon and Amelia
A unique mourning pendant circa 1790, depicting the ill-fated lovers Celadon and Amelia from the poem Summer by James Thomson. Thomson's The Seasons was a series of four works published in 1730. The poems were highly influential and inspired art works by Thomas Gainsborough and J.M.W. Turner amongst others. The poem describes the romance of Amelia and Celadon, whose rural walk ends in tragedy when they are caught in a violent storm and Amelia is struck dead by lightning. The scene of the tragedy is set in Caernarvonshire, Wales, with the peak of Mount Snowdon visible in the distance.
Young Celadon and his Amelia were a matchless pair,
With equal virtue formed and equal grace,
They loved ... devoting all to love,
Till in evil hour the tempest caught them on their tender walk.
Mysterious Heaven! That moment to the ground,
A blackened corse, was struck the beauteous maid.
But who can paint the lover as he stood,
Pierced by severe amazement, hating life,
Speechless and fixed in all the death of woe?
The gold pendant is set with an evocative watercolour miniature in sepia tones depicting the lovers in a stormy mountainous landscape. The reverse has a glazed hair locket compartment containing a weave of brown hair within a surround of guilloche royal blue enamel. The pendant measures just under 3 inches by 1.5 inches. Immaculate, poignant, charming.
Celadon and Amelia, an engraving by Bartolozzi after Angelica Kauffman, circa 1782.
Celadon and Amelia by William Hamilton