In the early 1800s hair began to be used for the actual making
of jewellery. The watch chain was the most popular piece as a lady could be
ensured she was in “his” thoughts many times a day, a very romantic notion!
Hair work jewellery was at the height of its popularity in the 1850s when
Victorian women wore jewellery as both a decoration & an outward expression
of their innermost feelings. For years it was popular to own a lock of a loved
one’s hair, usually in a compartment at the back of a brooch, locket, ring, or
even watch fob. Hair work was just as popular as crocheting at the time. They
would produce these pieces in their drawing rooms then send it to the jeweller
for fittings to be attached. Hair work jewellery took the form of
brooches, bracelets, necklaces & chains and there were many different
weaves used. The history of this style of jewellery is just amazing and it’s
for this reason it is so collectible!
This is a superb period piece which remains intact featuring hexaginally
capped fittings with a chased design including swivel clasp, toggle or t-bar
and fitting from which a fabulous Enamel locket is attached. The locket
features an engraved floral, foliate & geometrical design magnificently accented with black enamel, the
technique of which is referred to as t’aille d’epargne or black
enamel tracery. It is an enamel technique whereby an etched design is
filled with powdered enamel then fired in a kiln.
The back features a horse’s head set upon a stippled and
patterned background. Inside contains ALL the original contents – frames,
backing papers and Glass covers.
Colour: Soft rose gold hued
fittings and locket
Construction: Fittings are 10 carat Gold Filled
or God Shell - unstamped (tested)
Sizing: length - 35cm
end-to-end, locket 2.5cm by 1.77cm, weight – 22.6 grams
Condition: Better-than-Excellent and one
of the BEST I have seen! No breaks, fraying, repairs or damage of any type to
the actual hair work. The locket and fittings have very little wear. For the
most fastidious collector!
Value Points: Complete and near Immaculate
condition! Rare in this state!