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Victorian hair jewelry


Whether fashioned by a home crafter or professionally by a hair weaver or a jewelry maker, hair jewelry was the height of the romanticism and sentiment that characterized the Victorian era. Some pieces were done as mourning pieces or “momento mori” (“remember you must die”).

While some may find this morbid, for the Victorians death was a common and accepted part of everyday life especially due to the higher infant mortality rate of the time and the devastation of the Civil War.

Hair jewelry was not always mourning jewelry, however, as it was also crafted as love tokens from sweethearts, family members and cherished friends. Rings might be engraved with loving messages and memorials either on the face or inside the band, and might also have hidden compartments for the hair.

Brooches came in all sizes from the daintiest lace pin to a larger 3″ oval meant to be worn at the neck. Watch chains and bracelets often show the most ingenious hair weaving techniques with more than one color of hair often used, as perhaps a chain given by three daughters to their father.

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