Love Token in Chopped Hair
From the eighteenth century, hair was popularly used in jewellery and small pictures as a manifestation of sentiment, be it love or grief. In death a loved one’s hair took on added significance and, by having it fashioned into a symbolic motif, was a way to hold them close forever more. As a token of love, locks of hair were often swapped by couples upon betrothal. Professional hair workers were hired by jewellery shops to create fashionable settings for jewels out of chopped hair.
This sentimental jewel features a pair of sepia painted love birds nesting on the altar of love within a garden, cleverly formed using chopped hair. The garlanded altar has been painted with the couple’s initials – G d B and T P d B – and dated 1849. The reverse side features brown hair beautifully fashioned on an ivory base into feathers and small forget-me-not flowers arranged around the initials A d K.
The piece is glazed front and back and is set in the original gold frame (indistinctly marked) with a later brooch clasp fitting. Apart form some dust around the outside edges under the glass, the piece is in fine condition and suitable for wearing.
Item Ref. 6942
Size: 34 x 41mm