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This is a quality hairwork brooch which is handmade with the outer setting is 9 karat gold and the center parts are Gold Filled. The setting holds the hair from several members of a family. The crystal is the original one to the brooch and in good condition with light scratches. The circa date for this brooch is 1860. The hairwork largest piece is called the “Prince of Wales “style. The fathering style is one of the most desired styles in hairwork jewelry. The hairwork in this brooch has hair of different colors which would be from other members of the same family. On the back of the brooch s a T-bar pin and a C-clasp which is the correct style for the time period the brooch was made.
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 and their families’ hair."
Reference is from HISTORY OF HAIR JEWELRY IN VICTORIAN AMERICA
The hair work in this brooch is a work of art. The brooch size is 2 inches wide by 2 ¼ inches tall, and is in excellent condition. The insured value is $1600.00 as of March 2013.