Brooch thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Brooch

ca. 1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Hair had long been important in sentimental jewellery, but during the 18th century it took on a new prominence. It could now form the centrepiece of a jewel, arranged in complicated motifs or as plain, woven sections. Tiny fragments of hair could even be incorporated into delicate paintings. Some designs were made by professionals, but many women chose to work the hair of loved ones themselves, using gum to secure their creations.

Hair jewels were worn to cherish the living as well as to remember the dead. The survival of many pieces celebrating love and friendship indicate their great social importance.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Engraved and enamelled gold set with half pearls and hair
Brief Description
Engraved gold brooch or pin with a frame, enamelled and set with half pearls, enclosing plaited hair. The back is engraved Henry Crewe Moseley, born 3d of Jany 1779; died 18th of July..., England, ca.1800
Physical Description
Engraved gold brooch or pin with a frame, enamelled and set with half pearls, enclosing plaited hair. The back is engraved Henry Crewe Moseley, born 3d of Jany 1779; died 18th of July...
Dimensions
  • Height: 2cm
  • Width: 2.8cm
  • Depth: 1cm
Marks and Inscriptions
engraved Henry Crewe Moseley, born 3d of Jany 1779; died 18th of July... (The back)
Object history
Part of a group of memorial and mourning jewels bought from Dr Marco Guastalla, acting on behalf of 'an English lady residing in Italy' (museum numbers 846-1888 to 989-1888)
Summary
Hair had long been important in sentimental jewellery, but during the 18th century it took on a new prominence. It could now form the centrepiece of a jewel, arranged in complicated motifs or as plain, woven sections. Tiny fragments of hair could even be incorporated into delicate paintings. Some designs were made by professionals, but many women chose to work the hair of loved ones themselves, using gum to secure their creations.



Hair jewels were worn to cherish the living as well as to remember the dead. The survival of many pieces celebrating love and friendship indicate their great social importance.
Collection
Accession Number
958-1888

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record createdApril 7, 2006
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