There are several mysteries about this elegant enamelled gold brooch, beginning with its date and original owner. It is believed to have belonged to Hannah Terry Rouse, nee Hipkins (1819-1907) of Rouse Hill House, and to have been acquired following the death of her husband Edwin Rouse in 1862. The brooch, 2.5cm in diameter, certainly has the appearance of a mourning brooch, with a central onyx encircled with a band of black enamel set with seed pearls, denoting tears. The pearls are also ‘colourless’ and therefore appropriate for mourning but the onyx is polished to reveal a narrow band of white in the black and the combination of white and black was fashionable in Victorian times, representing a form of elegant reticence for married women of a certain age. Mourning brooches of this kind would usually have a glass back containing a lock of the loved one’s hair. There is no such compartment on this brooch but there is evidence that the back has been remade and the safety pin is definitely a later addition. Perhaps the original back was replaced because the glass had broken?