An Immortelle

Immortelles – the name means everlasting – were grave ornaments. They were in use mainly in the Victorian and Edwardian era.

Delicate china flowers are mounted on a base. This is covered with a glass dome to make it weather proof and finally a wire cage houses that.

An Immortelle - a grave ornament - at Market Lavington Museum

We believe the immortelle we have is probably Edwardian. It was in the churchyard until the 1930s.

None remain in the churchyards of Market Lavington or Easterton, but our curator recently found some in a Welsh churchyard.

Immortelles at Eglwys Llanfinhangel

These items do not seem to be well documented. Any extra information would be well received.


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10 Responses to “An Immortelle”

  1. ljanehenderson Says:

    Brecknock museum have three very similar ones. The curator is Nigel Blackamore

  2. Nigel Blackamore Says:

    Actually we have 4 in the collection, 3 from Llywel Churchyard, the other unprovenanced. Sadly very little info to go with them and we are missing the protective metal cloche you illustrate. If I come up with anything I’ll drop you a line and tweet it @brecknockmuseum

    • marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

      Thanks Nigel. Am I right in thinking they are particularly Welsh?



      • Nigel Blackamore Says:

        To be honest, I don’t know – they don’t appear to have a particularly Welsh content – white doves etc. Maybe its to do with smaller communities and better preservation/graveyards less disturbed and better survival rates- If I come across anything I will let you know.
        All best


  3. Item 4 beginning ideas | Textiles 3 learning log Says:

    […] also reminded me of grave immortelles something I had come across previously during some research. Long lasting porcelain flower displays […]

  4. Carol McCouat Says:

    I recently went to a church by my cousins and took pictures of these domed flowers they are so beautiful. Church near Lampeter.

  5. Gil Says:

    I know of two welsh churchyards which have them, never seen them anywhere else.

  6. Enid Says:

    I have seen them in many of the chapel graveyards around Lampeter.

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