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This handmade Brooch is Circa 1780 and from Pennsylvania. The hairwork is the early style and the 18 karat Rose gold pin is the marquee shape which was used in the Georgian time period. This was a very sentimental practice that has been dated back to 1640, the 18th and the 19th Centuries this was a very popular art form. The hair of the loved one would be taken to a jeweler and the professional hair weaver (called a Hair Spider) would plate, weave the hair and place it into the gold item of jewelry, usually a pin or brooch. Hair is very lasting and it is one reason, besides being so personal, that it was kept. The most amazing work on this pin is the monogram made of tiny seed pearls of varying sizes. I think the letters are T S L but not sure they are so elaborate in design. The Pin is 1 ¼ of an inch tall and 5/8 wide. The back has the original T-bar pin and C-clasp.
Information on Hairwork:
"Hair jewelry functioned as a keepsake of the dead and as a memento mori, a reminder that death was an ever-present possibility; the wearer was constantly reminded that she should lead a good life because death could strike without warning. Often a wearer would add more hair pieces to a glass-covered brooch when additional relatives or friends passed away. Hair jewelry was not always worn to commemorate the dead; lovers also wore pieces made from the couple’s hair." Reference is from HISTORY OF HAIR JEWELRY IN VICTORIAN AMERICA
This pin is in excellent condition and strong to wear and a very fine example of 18 century hairwork with pearls.