Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hairwork Boxes

Hairwork was not limited to jewelry. In the nineteenth century, human hair was added to just about every object suited to receive it, and small boxes were no exception. This ivory box houses a palette worked basket weave design on the lid.

This tortoise shell box has exquisite engine-turned engraving over every part of the outer surface…

And houses hairwork on the underside of the lid with a gold heart and the initials, “H.F.,” “J.F.,” “E.F.,” and “F.F.,” indicating that the hair probably came from members of a single family.

Ivory box with hairwork on the lid and gold initials, “C.P.M.” The box is slightly curved to fit comfortably in a pocket.


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