Panel of Hair-Work thumbnail 1
Panel of Hair-Work thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Panel of Hair-Work

1879-1890 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Death was highly visible in Victorian culture. It was a time for communal feeling, studied response and ritual, with people encouraged to give public expression to their grief. Throughout the Victorian period there were 'hair artists' who specialised in turning locks of hair into jewellery that could be worn as a memorial to someone who had died. Printed catalogues presented customers with a choice of designs and offered discreet guarantees that the locks of hair were not muddled or substituted in the process.

The girl's photograph and hair in this piece combine to make a very physical memento. In the Victorian period photography had a special significance for memorial objects. Valued for preserving a true likeness and capturing a fleeting moment, it encapsulated the transient nature of life.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Hair-work and photography
Brief Description
Diamond-shaped memorial panel (hair-work and photography), by Harry Carr Dinham, Great Britain, 1879-1890
Physical Description
Diamond shaped, framed memorial panel. There are eight oval medallions of hair-work and one oval photograph of a young girl framed with a hair-work design. The hair is of various colours.
Dimensions
  • Across width of frame width: 275mm
  • Length of frame when flat length: 381mm
Credit line
Given by Miss K.B. Dinham
Subjects depicted
Summary
Death was highly visible in Victorian culture. It was a time for communal feeling, studied response and ritual, with people encouraged to give public expression to their grief. Throughout the Victorian period there were 'hair artists' who specialised in turning locks of hair into jewellery that could be worn as a memorial to someone who had died. Printed catalogues presented customers with a choice of designs and offered discreet guarantees that the locks of hair were not muddled or substituted in the process.



The girl's photograph and hair in this piece combine to make a very physical memento. In the Victorian period photography had a special significance for memorial objects. Valued for preserving a true likeness and capturing a fleeting moment, it encapsulated the transient nature of life.
Collection
Accession Number
T.81-1949

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record createdDecember 20, 2006
Record URL