Bracelets 22.03.2010

Spotlight On: 19th Century Hairwork Bracelet

Hairwork bracelets are popular forms of sentimental and mourning jewellery, being always fashionable and relatively cheap to produce.

As much as the manufacture of the clasp or gold-work in a bracelet, the hair itself is the focal point of the construction.

As a memento, entire families could have different hair woven into the band, or a loved one could offer their own in a more intimate manner.

Other than the hair itself, the clasp is important to judge the latter 19th century pieces for their age and quality. In future posts, I’ll discuss more about the 18th century Neoclassical pieces, which differ greatly with these pieces (using miniature portraits, pearls and other materials). In this example from 1858, there are seven initials from the family members and with the tableworked hair in three colours constructing the band. A simple weave of hair is also displayed inside the glass compartment and on the reverse, the initials of each individual are represented.