Antique Victorian hairwork bracelet with gold engraved clasp

An intricately woven Victorian era hair bracelet with beautiful hand engraved clasp. The brunette hair was woven in a four-weave chevron pattern with 3-dimensional edging. It is in incredibly good condition for this delicate material! The flexible bracelet is joined together by a 10 karat rolled gold box clasp with beautiful swirling foliate engraving with an open central section, allowing this to be engraved with the name or initials of its new owner. Bracelets like this with velvet, silk, ribbon or plaited hair and an ornamental clasp were popular between 1840 and 1870. They were actually the most fashionable form of jewelry at this time! This bracelet was most likely a sentimental gift and not a mourning piece.

Sentimental and mourning jewelry was prominent in the Victorian era, from 1837 well through the 1880s. Jewelry woven from human hair was a way to remember a loved one - living or departed - and hold them dear. Hair was woven like lace, forming springy, dimensional coils in intricate patterns. With the death of Prince Albert in 1861 and the Civil War in America 1861-1865, interest in memorializing a loved one in the form of hair jewelry increased. In 1850, printed instructions became available for women to weave hair at home, becoming a widespread and affordable craft. Companies specialized in hair jewelry, providing weaving services as well as a selection of findings, rings, lockets, earrings, etc. so that the hair could be worn in a variety of ways. 

Measurements: 7 inches long, 1 ¼ inches wide.
Era: 1850s-1860s
Markings: Faint monogram on the clasp, tests for 10K gold

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