A History of Hairwork, Part 1: Introduction

March 9, 2010

Originally published on Art of Mourning, the article ‘An Overview of the History and Industry of Hairwork‘ is republished in bite-sized instalments so you can enjoy the fine details of this fascinating subject. Click here for the first instalment. I’ll be posting more in the coming days and adding to the article as it grows.

Jewellery and hair are the ideal combination for the perfect sentimental gift. The individuality of the jewel combined with something so personal as a lock of hair is a token of love and affection that the wearer can never forget or overlook.

Historically, the idea of giving hair as a gift can date to the prehistoric. Locks of hair have been treasured as sentimental objects for as long as there have been organised burials. For the purpose of this article, the focus will remain upon the period dating from the 16th century onwards and the evolution of hairwork in jewellery.

Popularity of hair in jewellery has risen and fallen since the 18th century, moving from a strong industry to virtually nothing at all. The sentiment has become lost over time, particularly in the 20th century where it has left mainstream awareness almost entirely. Keeping the hair of a loved one, particularly the deceased, is not uncommon even today, with lockets being produced to keep the lock of hair.

In part two, I will go further in depth to the custom of giving hair to a loved one and the social climate of the times.

Keep Reading!
> Part 1
> Part 2
> Part 3
> Part 4
> Part 5
> Part 6
> Part 7
> Part 8
> Part 9
> Part 10
> Part 11
> Part 12
> Part 13

4 Responses to “A History of Hairwork, Part 1: Introduction”


  1. […] Reading > Spotlight On: Fob Accessories > A History of Hairwork > Symbolism Sunday: The Acanthus > Gothic Revival in Culture and Jewellery: Part 2, […]


  2. […] Reading! > Part 1 > Part 2 > Part 3 > Part 4 > Part 5 > Part 6 > Part 7 > Part 8 > Part 9 […]


  3. […] Reading! > Part 1 > Part 2 > Part 3 > Part 4 > Part 5 > Part 6 > Part 7 > Part 8 > Part 9 […]


  4. […] Reading! > Part 1 > Part 2 > Part 3 > Part 4 > Part 5 > Part 6 > Part 7 > Part 8 > Part 9 […]


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