Bracelet

Collection Type

  • Jewelry

Date

1864

GUSN

GUSN-101265

Description

This bracelet is composed of three braids of elaborate tableworked human hair set in a hinged gold clasp. The clasp is constructed from three hollow rectangles of gold decorated on the exterior and connected with tube hinges. The outermost pair of rectangles show a diamond interlaced with an "X"-shaped ribbon against a rough, patinaed background. The central rectangle shows a scrolled cartouche worked with the inscription "AW to MW" in gothic script. The bracelet closes with a tounge and groove clasp. The interior bears a date inscription.

Details

Descriptive Terms

bracelets (jewelry)
human hair
gold (metal)
human hair
Bracelet

Label

"Mementos: Jewelry of Life and Love from Historic New England": In 1864 nineteen-year-old Anna Wigglesworth gave her elder sister Mary this elaborate hair bracelet to celebrate Mary's engagement to Henry Pickering, a Boston lawyer.

Inscription

Front: "A. W. / to / M. W." Back: July 28th. 1864 / 1. Park St." (Engraved)

Additional Identification Number

711

Maker

Wigglesworth, Anna (Inscriber)

Dimensions

1 x 1/4 (WxD), 2 7/8 (diameter) (inches)

Credit Line

Estate of Mrs. Jane N. Grew

Accession Number

1920.546

Exhibition Notes

"Hidden Treasures from Elegant Eras," Historic Jewelry from the Collections of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities presented by Shreve, Crump & Low, September 15 - November 30, 1995.

Reference Notes

Pictured in Brierley, Sarah, "With this Ring I Thee Wed," Historic New England, Fall (2007): 17. For more information on hair jewelry see Bell, C. Jeanenne, "Collector's Encyclopedia of Hairwork Jewelry," (1998); Bury, Shirley, "Jewellery, 1789-1910," v. 2 (1991): 680-698; Campbell, Mark, "The Art of Hair Work: Hair Braiding and Jewelry of Sentiment with Catalog of Hair Jewelry," Eds. Jules & Kaethe Kliot (facsimile of 1875 printing, 1996); Dawes, Ginny Reddington & Corinne Davidov, "Victorian Jewelry: Unexplored Treasures," (1991): 139-143; Fales, Martha Gandy, "Jewelry in America, 1600-1900," (1995): 98-107, 214-219.

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