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Locket

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    mid 18th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold with openwork set with garnets enclosing a painting on ivory incorporating hair, the back set with agate

  • Museum number:

    930-1888

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 81, shelf D5, box 2

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.

Physical description

Drop shaped gold frame with an openwork bow set with garnets and enclosing a painting in ivory adorned with pieces of hair, of a man fishing, the back set with agate

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

mid 18th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Gold with openwork set with garnets enclosing a painting on ivory incorporating hair, the back set with agate

Dimensions

Height: 3 cm, Width: 2.3 cm, Depth: 0.5 cm

Descriptive line

Gold frame with an openwork bow set with garnets and enclosing a painting on ivory adorned with pieces of hair, of a man fishing, England, mid 18th century

Materials

Gold; Garnet; Hair; Agate; Ivory

Subjects depicted

Bow (ribbon); Men; Miniatures (paintings)

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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