Antique hair ornament, hence jewellery from hair, originated from very emotional ambitions and wishes. To wear human hair as a personal souvenir of a valuable, close or formerly close person in the form of jewellery, was widespread above all in the 19th century. Already in the outgoing 18th century human hair was processed to valuable pieces of jewellery. This era ended at the beginning of the 20th century. One measured the ‘value’ of the precious items on the one hand with emotional feelings and, on the other hand, in the exceptionally costly methods which required the processing of this material.
Queen Victoria herself promoted the trend to wear strands of hair of a deceased person inside a memorial brooch or a golden locket with enamel decorations. However, antique hair ornament is not to be associated mandatorily with mourning jewellery! The produced masterpieces by women in housework or from wig doers, seamstresses and cloister women were also respected dear gifts, dear presents and quite personally dedicated jewellery donated to engagements, weddings or birth. The highly honoured human head hair as a ’seat of vitality”, was set a personal monument by the dignified and delicate pieces of art.
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