- Museum number
Mourning locket with a gold case enclosing an ornamental motif in curled hair-work with seed-pearls and gold wire on a blue enamelled guilloché ground with a pendant loop and a border with flowers and leaves in chased gold relief. The reverse has engine-turned decoration with an oval panel with an inscription in the centre with a border of chased gold flower and leaves. In the original oval leather case, labelled on the base.
- Production date
Height: 7.45 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no. 582:
The lock of hair arranged in a single or double curl and combined with cut hair-work in this manner was popular for at least three-quarters of the century. Hair-work was practised both professionally and at home, as indicated by contemporary pattern-books and instructions (see 'Hair Work' in the Ladies Companion, vol. 2, June-December 1850, pp. 44-46, 61-63, and Halford & Young, The Jewellers' Book of Patterns in Hair Work, London, 1864). The Lock of Hair, published by Alexanna Speight in 1871, is probably the most comprehensive instruction manual, and illustrates the continued fashion for these hair-work motifs, which appear in dated pieces from the early years of the century. (C.Gere)
What appears to be an identical locket is held by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney (MAAS), given by Anne Schofield in 2004 (inv.no.2004/141/1/2). Contained in an identical red leather case, with the same printed label on the base, and the same inscription on the reverse of the locket. For images, see https://maas.museum/inside-the-collection/2014/10/15/a-snapshot-of-installing-a-fine-possession-jewellery-and-identity-exhibition/ (accessed 29 July 2019). See aso Dolla Merrillees, 'Memento Mori: Remember that you must die', in Susanne Boccalette and Meredith JOnes (eds) 'Trunk: Volume One - Hair', 2009, pp. 306-315, the locket illustrated and described on pp. 312-3. The two young women commemorated died at age 16 and 13, so perhaps several lockets were made, for the mother, surviving sister/s and other relatives (J. Rudoe 29 July 2019).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: HG.974 (masterlist number)