This wreath was almost certainly made at the “La Perle” or “La Fabrique de Perles” factory of Chauny, a small town in France that became famous in the early 20th century for their “pearl”—or tiny glass bead—memorial works. The factory, which opened in 1900, specialized in flowers fashioned from the tiny beads for use in wedding globes, sailor’s valentines and funeral wreaths. After the First World War, these unique pearl funeral became very popular as, unlike flowers, they lasted forever. Their catalog proposed up to 160 models of wreaths, some of which were extremely elaborate.
Tracy Hurley Martin Collection
Exhibited in the Art of Mourning show at the Morbid Anatomy Museum, 2014-2015