Hair and its amazing properties

I have been coming across some wonderful things about hair. There are museums of hair, mourning jewelry, pictures made from hair, and all manner of lovely things. Below I am offering these links for you to contemplate hair and its myraid uses other than going down your drain in the shower!

One manifestation is in funerary art and jewels. But modern artists are doing it too, as you will see. (Here is a link to the symbols used in funerary art...)
From the wonderful site The Art of Mourning (all descriptions theirs):

"Due to their size and function, sentimental and memorial bracelets have varied in degrees of popularity over time. Unlike more personal forms of mourning jewellery (such as lockets), they are a public display of mourning and often a status symbol. The use of other materials, such as hairwork, and their size makes bracelets a type of jewellery that demand their own focus."

1) This piece uncommonly uses turquoise as a surround for the crystal interior, and the typical gold cypher on top of hair.
2) Popularity of the bracelet worked well with the neoclassical movement of the latter 18th Century. The size, and reliance on classical fashion, provided a good display for grand pieces upon the wrist. Above, the bracelet has a large hairwork panel inside clasp with the pearls delicately strung from the clasp. Pieces of this time housed wonderful hairwork panels, miniatures and neoclassical depictions.
3) The seed pearls combined with the pearls set into the memento enhance the sentimentality of the hair, as if the hair were the culmination of the strings of pearls leading into them.
4) This piece came from a Maryland estate, and is believed to be painted by John Wood Dodge, American (1807-1893). What a magnificent and complete bracelet, with its clasp and hairwork intact.
5) A very humble piece, this bracelet is of a tough weave and has kept in magnificent condition. The hair is still supple and retains is full colour. The clasp itself is central clasped and shows some wonderful Rococo design.
6) Two holding hands with a burning heart above shows this to be the pure sentimental piece that it was created for. The love heart setting and the curved crystal show it to be honest and un-doctored, a pure 1680s creation. The hairwork is still in fine condition and the sentiment is one of a kind.
7) Hairwork has a large role to play in the creation of much memorial art. Hairwork memorials are quite different in styles and concepts, but are still related in their art. The hairwork is placed on to a silk background and the frame is unique to the piece. Memorials often contained inscriptions or dedications to a certain person. Flowers as well as the hair are often placed in the art as well.
A modern jewelry designer who uses the similar methods is Melanie Bilenker:

These actually come with instructions! Good luck being patient enough.

By The Victorian Hairwork Society! They will buy your hair and/or make you something from your hair.

And finally, the most wonderful little oddball museum, Leila's Hair Museum!

Now go brush your hair and thank it for being so versatile!

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