A customer recently brought in a beautiful pocket watch from the 1900s that was her great grandfathers passed down through generations.IMG_20160503_112924161_HDRIt was a locket of his hair made of galvanized bronze set on an intricately braided hair chain. The chain itself is a true work of art and is comprised of a square chain, half twist chain, and a personally designed and hand crafted bracelet braid.

Hair jewelry was popular particularly from the 16th to 19th centuries as momentos of lost loved ones, funerary keepsakes, and as tokens of affection. Hair makes a durable and lasting token as it is as strong as Kevlar when braided and does not decay over time.

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From the 16th to 18th century, hair jewelry ranging from earrings to necklaces were crafted by highly trained artisans for royalty and the upper classes of society. This Victorian mourning jewelry in the 17th century was not only for loved ones but also as a way to remember important individuals or public figures, such as Charles I. The art spread to society at large through women’s groups in the 19th century largely in America but also Europe. Brides would gift hand braided hair jewelry to their groom as a remembrance of their engagement day.

Really Nice Bracelet

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Really nice broach

 

While hair jewelry has fallen out of fashion today, pieces are extremely valuable because of their intimate nature and intricate design. Our customer wanted to preserve this piece with a picture of their great grandfather in a shadow box in a gold wooden frame and double matte. We are happy to help you preserve your most personal items.

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Further Reading:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/38658/38658-h/38658-h.htm

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/may/27/sciencenews.research

http://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/blog/posts/mourning-jewellery-remembering-the-dearly-departed

http://www.hairwork.com/remember.htm

http://www.musketeer.ch/watches/braided_hair.html

http://www.oldsouthsilver.com/decorative/hair.htm

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