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Contrary to popular belief, hair jewelry was not always mourning jewelry. Sometimes these intricately woven pieces were created as love tokens from sweethearts, family members and cherished friends as a way to feel closer to the other. It also was worn merely as fashion since hair jewelry was in vogue during the Victorian era.
Gaining in popularity during the Civil War, hair work was an affordable and common at-home drawing room past time, much like knitting. Patterns and templates were widely available in newspapers, fashion magazines and periodicals. Many young women earned a living making hair jewelry at home.
For those less skilled or crafty, ready-to-wear hairwork jewelry could be purchased through catalogs or from jewelry stores, or you could send hair off to a professional weaver to have a custom piece created.
We believe this superbly crafted set to be fashion pieces. They were most likely purchased from a hair jewelry catalog and we have included a page from the "A. Bernhard & Co. Catalogue, 1870 Manufacturers of Diamond Work & Ornamental Hair Jewelry" catalog with a similar example.
This exquisite set is handcrafted in 14k rose gold and features intricately woven chestnut colored human hair in a domed setting held in place by a beautiful twisted gold rope cage.
It is such a rare treat to not only find a complete set, but also one in such superb condition!
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