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Today we are delighted to offer for sale an original and authentic antique 1800s Victorian mourning hair, gold filled (not just gold plated) with pearls brooch! Victorian mourning jewelry made of a human hair became immensely popular in the 19th century. Husbands went to work wearing watch fobs fashioned of their wives hair. Locks from the dearly departed were mounted into rings and brooches. Ladies filled their autograph books with snippets from their friends. At a time of rising commercialism, sentimental hairwork became a way both to signal one’s sincerity and, paradoxically, to stay in style. People made wreaths, rings, necklaces and all sorts of pieces out of human hair. One of the most famous guides to doing hair work was published in 1867, called Self-Instructor and the Art of Hair Work. The fashion for human hair mourning jewelry faded by the early 1920’s. This exquisite brooch/hair pin features a gold fill setting encrusted with minute seed pearls, forming a double row frame that encases the beveled glass-topped center medallion of the brooch. The center piece features a lattice pattern woven with beautiful blond hair belonging to two people, most likely children, given the sequential death dates engraved on the back of the pin. The back of the pin is engraved “E. W. died 21 May 1860/P. W. died 11 Aug 1860” (perhaps these two people were siblings afflicted with a disease, given the subsequent deaths in close proximity). The pin presents beautifully and in very good antique condition, with very minor wear and patina commensurate with age and type of use. One tiny seed pearl is missing (you can find a replacement right here on eBay). This wonderful piece will make a fine addition to any Victorian mourning jewelry collection, and would make a lovely gift to anyone who is a fan of the odd and macabre. Fresh to the market!
Dimensions: 1″ in length x approx. 3/4″ in height Weight: 8 grams
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