Letter with attached lock of hair

Collection Type

  • Ephemera

Date

1863

GUSN

GUSN-101748

Description

This looped circle of light brown hair is tied with a green silk ribbon and pinned to a letter written by a young woman to her intended several months prior to their wedding.

Details

Descriptive Terms

human hair
human hair
paper by function
silk (fiber)
Letter

Label

"Mementos: Jewelry of Life and Love from Historic New England": This charming letter from Almira Fogg in Buxton, Maine, to her future husband, poet Stephen Marion Watson, is composed entirely in rhyming couplets. Almira's poetry emphasizes the sentimental importance of hair as a gift between lovers, keeping them close despite long distances or years. The two married in 1863.

Inscription

"To Marion, / Dear friend, you have requested a lock of my hair. / I send it, the same you have oft' seen me wear, / 'Tis a trifle, but trifles, to friends are oft dear, / They make present the past, and the absent bring near,. / When you look on this singlet, Oh! think of the friend / To whose lovely hour's, you pleasure did lend; / Whose best wish attends you wher've you may be, / Who cannot forget you, who says think of me. / At eve, when the bright sun is sinking away, / Soft twighlight suceeding the glory of day, / I think of the Marion, Oh! Then think of me. / Should age crown our head's with his lock's, thin and hoar, / Then this may remind you of blest day's of your; / Whether youthful, or aged, or whatever my lot, / I still shall remember thee, forget me not. / Mira T. Fogg / Buxton, Jan - 15; / 1863" (Ink)

Additional Identification Number

1199

Maker

Fogg, Almira Tolford, 1837-1899 (Author)

Location of Origin

Maine

Dimensions

1 1/2 x 1 1/2 (HxW) (inches)

Credit Line

Museum Accession

Accession Number

2007.15.92ab

Reference Notes

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.

Date

1863 (January 15)

Places

Buxton (York county, Maine)