Photographs: photographs on enamel, framed in copper alloy metal frames; hair lockets: hair with pen and black and ink on cream-colored backing; case: leather with metal push-clasp and velvet-lined interior
Image: 3.5 x 3 cm (1 3/8 x 1 3/16 in.); Case: 9 x 5 x 1 cm (3 9/16 x 1 15/16 x 3/8 in.)
John Cook Memorial Fund 2017.9
The popularity of hairwork as a parlor craft in the Victorian era led to an influx of instructional guides and patterns in ladies' magazines.
The photographs of this man and woman, presumably husband and wife, are juxtaposed with clippings of their hair arranged to form their initials, A and M. In the late 1800s, photographic portraits and hair clippings combined in jewelry or frames served as mementos or memorials for loved ones. For permanence, the portraits here were vitrified on enamel, a process now used primarily for funerary monuments.
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