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

Made:
1850-1910 in Europe
maker:
Unknown
Ear trumpet for mourning. Full view, black perspex background with reflection.

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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.

Details

Category:
Audiology
Object Number:
A129677
Materials:
covering, silk, earpiece, bone, embellishments, lace and trumpet, metal
type:
ear trumpet
credit:
Glendining