- Museum number
Gold heart-shaped locket, with engraved foliate decoration, the loop in the form of a snake, set with oval cabochon garnet or carbuncle; compartment under glass on reverse containing a gold inital 'W' and white hair. Accompanied by a label written in ink in a nineteenth century hand which reads: 'Hair of the great Duke of Wellington. Cut off by C. V. Shelly (Mrs Kent).
- Production date
- 1852 (circa)
Height: 27 millimetres (locket only)
- Curator's comments
- There was a huge demand for Wellington’s hair to be set in commemorative lockets. This is recorded by the Duke’s manservant Christopher Collins, in a letter to William Spicer of Devon: ‘I enclose you a little of Field Marshall the Duke of Wellington’s hair which I cut of [sic] myself after his death . . . I am sorry its so small a quantity but the demand form his family and friends so great . . . (see Elizabeth Longford, in ‘Wellington: Pillar of State’, London 1972, p. 400, quoting a Spicer MSS of 4 October 1852). William Spicer was probably William Francis Spicer (1763-1853), the owner of Lympstone Manor, Devon.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased by donor from Charlotte Sayers st Grays, 18 May 2000. Previously sold Phillips London, 'Fine Antique and Modern Jewellery', 18 April 2000, lot 42.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number