The ancients believed that the snake is a powerful symbol of rebirth and renewal. Regularly casting off it's old skin, the serpent always emerges with a sleeker, newer self. You, too, will feel refreshed when wearing this spellbinding handmade 18 ct yellow rolled gold, Victorian snake hair bracelet.
Early Victorian 1830's-1840's hair jewelry history in the form of a Serpentine. It is tested 18k rolled gold with garnet eyes hair bracelet. This is amazing and is NOT considered mourning jewelry.
The clasp closes in the serpentine's mouth and stays closed and opens easily. It has a heart charm that also tests 18k and is rolled gold. There are a few spots of blemishes in this stunning and rare hair bracelet. This will fit a 7" wrist or smaller comfortably.
The Victorians had one belief that the snake biting its own tail is a symbol of eternity life and love.
This is truly one of a kind and extremely rare. Don't let this early history pass you by especially with this unique and one of a kind piece of true Early Victorian history! $389.00
The popularity of jewelry crafted with human hair can be attributed to several causes. Practically, unlike many other natural materials, human hair does not decay with the passing of time. Hair has chemical qualities that cause it to last for hundreds, possibly thousands, of years. Additionally, by the 19th century many hair artists and wig makers had too little employment after the powdered wigs, often worn by noblemen of the 17th and 18th centuries, went out of fashion. The period of sentimentality, characteristic of the Victorian era, offered these craftsmen a new opportunity to earn their income working with hair.
Early hair jewelry was usually made in cooperation with goldsmiths producing beautiful and expensive creations of hair mounted in gold and often decorated with pearls or precious stones. Pieces constructed with precious materials by artisans were naturally very expensive.
Workshops where these fashionable items were made existed across Europe. Buyers of human hair traveled the countryside and purchased hair from poor peasants, sometimes in exchange for a scarf, ribbon or other small luxury object. In addition to the needs for hair jewelry, there was still a need for great amounts of hair for braids and switches that women wanted to purchase for their coiffeurs. Most hair jewelry, however, was made from a person of special interest's hair, whether that was a famous figure or a family member or friend.
In contrast to the expensive pieces of hair jewelry crafted by artisans, many women of the 19th century began crafting their own hairwork in their homes. In America, popular magazines of the period, like Godey's Lady's Book, printed patterns and offered starter kits with the necessary tools for sale. Book of the period, like Mark Cambell's Self-Instructor in the Art of Hair Work offered full volumes devoted to hairwork and other "fancywork," as predominately female crafts were known at the time.
In Europe various groups of women also took up the craft in their homes. The women of Mora, Sweden, became experienced in hairwork and made it possible for groups other than the very wealthy to afford hair jewelry. They had no money to buy expensive findings so they mounted the jewelry with wooden beads that they cleverly covered over with hair.
Another reason for the construction of hair jewelry in the home was a lack of trust in commercial manufacturers. The concern was that the hair used in the jewelry would not be the hair that had been given to the jeweler, having been substituted with other hair.
If you are lucky to find such jewelry, it is extremely rare to find it still around. You can find it as stunning wall art, although the actual pieces that were worn are much harder to find. If you find one and love the Victorian history, snatch it up as in this day and era folks don't truly understand the value and history of such pieces!