Thursday, January 20, 2011

Victorian Hair Art

On display at the Historic Fairfield Inn, Fairfield, PA

Popular in the U.S. between 1770 and 1900, the white middle class used the hair of a loved one, dead or alive, to create jewelry, wall decorations and keepsakes.
Hair art was used for a variety of functions from recording family history to tokens of affection exchanged between lovers. Naturally, hair art also became a popular means to memorialize loved ones who had passed on. Mourning jewelry created with hair was intensely popular because it did not violate the strict code of conduct Victorian society imposed upon the conduct and dress of grieving persons. In this capacity hair art is best remembered. The hair of individuals and sometimes entire families can still be found intricately crafted and solemnly tucked behind glass frames or behind jeweler's cases at antique stores.

"I have a piece of thee here, not unworthy of thy being now."

The Godey's Lady's Book of May 1855

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