The Sacred Order is not only one of my favorite online shops but also a profoundly inspiring treasure trove of mysticism and eye candy. Curated and owned by Wendy Wagner, The Sacred Order specializes in antique, mourning, memento mori, and fraternity jewelry — rings, pendants, earrings and other aesthetic accoutrements wrought from gold, decorated with snakes, and sparkling with jet and diamonds. Let’s have a look…
“We vow to respect the beauty of age. We will honor the past lives of our products and the patina that can only come from years of living with and cherishing an object. We recognize the importance and symbolism that may be bestowed to these pieces. We will honor their imperfections, as they add to their beauty and individuality.” — The Sacred Order
Memento mori pieces are among Wagner’s most treasured. The Latin phrase translates to “remember that you must die” and is the name given to sixteenth through eighteenth century jewelry reflecting on mortality, death, and faith. Mourning jewelry is a subset of memento mori in remembrance of loved ones, inscribed with standard phrases like IN MEMORIAM or, more rarely, featuring drawings of or woven hair from the deceased. It was often made of jet, a black fossilized coal whose high prices led to the rise of black enamel (or white, in the case of a child) and vulcanite as substitutions. Though black enamel mourning pieces might hold less “value” now, they are still dear to collectors and other #deathpositive individuals due to the rich history and meaning imbued in the materials.
The Sacred Order celebrates modern memento mori as well, offering several pieces from the jeweler David Hines, whose label NVIT BLANCHE makes stunning and cerebrally stimulating rings in yellow and grey gold.
“We love the word ‘sacred’ in the sense of being reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object. We hope our items can be symbols of this for you and add sentiment to your everyday.” — The Sacred Order