Collections Highlights – Hair Wreath

Hair Wreath

Date: 1880

This work of art, consisting of blonde hair wrapped decoratively around wire, represents the Victorian-era practice of utilizing hair in jewelry and decor. Originally, the trend followed Queen Victoria’s action of wearing her husband Prince Albert’s hair in a locket around her neck after his death in 1861. People in Victorian times kept and displayed the hair of a loved one as a symbol of mourning and sentiment. However, as the trend evolved, people would not only utilize the hair of the deceased, but also their living loved ones to display an emotional connection to one another. Hair from one deceased friend or family member was kept for mourning purposes, while hair from multiple family members were more likely to represent a sentimental family tree. This hair wreath can be viewed in the Master Bedroom.

Donated by James Dunk

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