If you are planning to visit an estate sale soon, you will likely see things like furniture, jewelry, clothing, dishes, and other items. You may also see some very interesting things you may not be aware of. Below are two of these things so you can keep an eye out for them.
As you browse through the jewelry at an estate sale, you may see an eye looking up at you. In the 1700s, the lover of a young prince in the Revolutionary war sent him a locket with a miniature painting of her eye inside. If you find one of these miniature eyes in a locket at an estate sale, they are often called "lover's eyes." Miniaturists painted the eye images using very detailed images. These miniature paintings only showed the eye, eye lashes, and eyebrow. Someone looking at it would not be able to tell if it was a man or woman. According to Weber, approximately 1,000 "lover's eye" jewelry were produced, and they are found very rarely in America. So, if you happen to come across this jewelry, pick it up quickly before someone else realizes how special and valuable it is. You should be careful, however. Because so few are in existence, the estate owners should have paperwork available with the jewelry that shows it is authentic. If not, see a certified jeweler who may be able to put you in contact with someone that can authenticate it.
Mourning rings started being produced in the 14th century, and by the 18th century became much more popular. Things rings were worn by people that were mourning a loved one. Many mourning rings were made with black enamel, but other metals were used to mean different things. For example, white enamel meant that the deceased was a woman that was a virgin and unmarried. Pearls were used to create mourning rings for the loss of a child. You could even find locks of hair from the deceased in some mourning jewelry.
While people were going through their mourning period, they likely did not wear any other jewelry during this time. Over time, instead of using only stones, you would see pictures of the deceased on the jewelry. These pictures were painted by miniaturist's portrait painters, who would paint the pictures in fine details. If you are at an estate sale and see this unique jewelry, depending on the quality it could be worth quite a bit of money.
Make sure you arrive at the estate sale early, as the better things will go first. This will ensure that you find some very unique things, including the two things above. For more information, talk to a professional like Crissy Galleries.