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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.

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Hair jewelry

hair jewelry

See our: hair jewelry.

Articles of jewelry made of or embellished with human hair.

Hair was used in several styles

  • woven as a background for a gold-wire monogram set under a crystal or formed into a necklace, brooch, etc.
  • plaited (braided) to form a bracelet or watch chain, or the rim around the bezel of a ring
  • made into a floral or funereal design or a motif such as the prince of wales's feathers
  • a lock or plait of hair enclosed in the compartment of a brooch, hair locket or finger ring

Hair was used in the 17th century in mourning jewelry, but the fashion was revived in the 19th century for use also as a token of sentiment or affection for a living person, and amateurs made examples with their own hair. At a certain moment that sort of jewelry became so fashionable that wealthy women started haircraft as a hobby. In fashion magazines of that time you could find complete descriptions of ways to turn hair into little pieces of art.

Between 1830 and 1870, it was possible for a woman to sell her hair at special markets. The hair was bought by hair dealers who supplied it to special hair jewelry craftsmen.

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