Pendant thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Pendant

1796 (dated)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The architect Sir William Chambers who is commemorated by this jewel was born in Sweden. The Vasa crest ( the wheatsheaf ) is associated with the Swedish Royal family.

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
Gold with plaited hairwork with a diamond band on blue glass with seed pearls
Brief Description
Gold pendant, the frame with plaited hairwork enclosing a hair wheatsheaf (the Vasa crest) bound with a diamond band on blue glass. At the back an inscription in seed pearls Sir William Chambers died March 1796, Aged 74., England, dated 1796
Physical Description
Gold pendant, the frame with plaited hairwork enclosing a hair wheatsheaf (the Vasa crest) bound with a diamond band on blue glass. At the back an inscription in seed pearls Sir William Chambers died March 1796, Aged 74.
Dimensions
  • Height: 6.7cm
  • Width: 4.7cm
  • Depth: 1.3cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • inscribed in seed pearls Sir William Chambers died March 1796, Aged 74. (At the back)
Credit line
Transferred to the V&A from the National Portrait Gallery
Object history
Historical significance: Part of a collection of relics of the architect Sir William Chambers (1726-1796) bequeathed to the National Portrait Gallery, this piece transferred to the V&A
Subjects depicted
Summary
The architect Sir William Chambers who is commemorated by this jewel was born in Sweden. The Vasa crest ( the wheatsheaf ) is associated with the Swedish Royal family.



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
M.7-1958

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record createdJuly 19, 2006
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