Ear trumpet, possibly used during a period of mourning, Europe, 1850-1910

1850-1910 in Europe

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Ear trumpet for mourning. Full view, black perspex background with reflection.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Ear trumpet for mourning

This ear trumpet has an ornate black lace collar and bow detail, suggesting it was used during the mourning period immediately after a death. Ear trumpets amplified sound to help partially deaf people hear more clearly.

Somber clothing had to be worn and complicated mourning etiquette adhered to during the period of mourning. Queen Victoria took this to extremes. She wore mourning clothing for 40 years after her beloved husband Prince Albert passed away in 1861. Her mourning period lasted until her death in 1901. This ear trumpet dates from the same era. It was perhaps inspired by Victoria’s dedication to a dignified mourning period for a loved one.


Object Number:
covering, silk, earpiece, bone, embellishments, lace, trumpet, metal
ear trumpet
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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