Victorian Hair Jewelry

Hair jewelry from the collection of Tammy Butler

Hair jewelry?  Yes, made from hair…many times human hair, sometimes horse hair.  The jewelry pictured above is from the collection of Tammy Butler, President of the March to Destiny.  http://www.marchtodestiny.org/

She kindly loaned items from her collection to Shippensburg Historical Society http://www.shippensburghistory.org/ to display during this year’s March to Destiny.  As her notes state, many people find the practice of using a deceased loved one’s hair in a piece of jewelry to be macabre.  But the people of the Victorian era were very different in their thinking than we are today. Mourning went on for as much as a year in some cases, depending on who the deceased person was, and was closely watched by others to see that the mourning procedures were carried out correctly.

Here’s a very informative Wikipedia article about hair jewelry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_jewelry

One of the merchants in the village at March to Destiny was Lucy Cadwallader, who specializes in Victorian hair jewelry. Here are some of her hair jewelry items:

Victorian Hair Jewelry

And some other Victorian jewelry items Lucy had on display:

Victorian Jewelry

Tammy Butler also included some “fashion” books to show the types of clothing worn during that era.

Victorian fashions

I must admit that before I saw these pieces of jewelry, I knew very little about hair jewelry. Just one more reason for people to come to next year’s March to Destiny: you can learn all sorts of things,  plus have a great time, and commemorate our history.

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