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Locket

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1784 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraved and enamelled gold set with seed pearls and hair

  • Museum number:

    929-1888

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 81, shelf D5, box 7

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

Gold locket composed of an engraved frame with enamel decoration, enclosing the initials ECJ under a coronet executed in gold and seed pearls on a ground of hair. The back inscribed Countess Dowager of Home died 15 Jany 1784

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1784 (dated)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Engraved and enamelled gold set with seed pearls and hair

Marks and inscriptions

'ECJ'
Initialled under a coronet

'Countess Dowager of Home died 15 Jany 1784'
Inscribed on the back.

Dimensions

Height: 4.2 cm, Width: 2.5 cm, Depth: 0.7 cm

Descriptive line

Gold locket with an engraved and enamelled frame, enclosing the initials ECJ under a coronet executed in gold and seed pearls on a ground of hair. The back inscribed Countess Dowager of Home died 15 Jany 1784, England, 1784

Materials

Gold; Seed pearls; Hair; Enamel

Subjects depicted

Mourning; Monograms; Coronets (crowns)

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Death

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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