|An elegant example of a hair wreath with the image of its maker, Mrs. Josiah Marvin of Battleboro, VT, at center.|
Delicate, expressive, morbid and sentimental, hair wreaths and jewelry appeal to me. I first discovered hair being incorporated into jewelry in the book Victorian Jewelry: Unexplored Treasures by Ginny Redington Dawes. I must have checked that book out from the library a hundred times between the ages of 10 and 18. I still think the book is a great resource for anyone who appreciates unusual and beautiful objects or is interested in what the people living from the mid- to late-1800's valued.
|Victorian jewelry: Unexplored Treasures, an excellent resource.|
|Gorgeous! I would love for this brooch to be part of my personal collection.|
From that book, I thought hair jewelry was an odd sort of memorial or romantic gift, kind of like a fancier version of the lock of hair my mom kept in my baby book. At that point, I didn't realize just how ornately hair could be styled when removed from one's scalp. Neither did I realize just how much hair art would intrigue me.
|Have one of these in your family? Might want to hold onto it. This hair wreath takes the typical "lucky" horseshoe shape.|
I grew to love Victorian hair wreaths as time went on. In high school I worked at an antique store co-owned by one of my favorite teachers. An amazingly large and intricate hair wreath, the first I had ever seen, hung on the back wall in the front room. It was gorgeous and slightly faded by time and sun. I admired it whenever I worked the front desk or had a moment to view it closely. I wondered at the time and craftsmanship involved. I fantasized about the history of the family whose hair was incorporated. With my graduation money I pragmatically bought a cedar chest from that shop, but I certainly considered taking that glorious piece of art home with me. The $750.00 price tag ultimately stopped me. I still long for that piece. For now, I will have to be satisfied with images and rare real life sightings of other hair wreaths and jewelry.
What do you think of hair wreaths? Do you admire any art or wearables made from unusual materials? I would love to see what nontraditional materials excite you as a maker or consumer!