Pre-industrial England seems to have been a hot bed for bizarre and questionable fashion customs. This particular fad is not only strange, but it was also incredibly popular for the time. During the Victorian era, in addition to gold and precious stones, it was very common for jewelry feature human hair. The hair was worked into the pieces, adding a level of morbidness to the intricate designs. Before you knock it, check out some of the beautiful works below. They’re pretty weird sure, but also kind of beautiful.
Hair jewelry became popular when in the 19th century powdered wigs went out of style and “hair artists” who made those wigs needed a way to craft and make money.
Unlike rope and thread, human hair does not deteriorate much over time, making the hair jewelry just as (if not more) valuable than when they were made.
Hair jewelry was became an industry in it’s own right. There were many workshops that specialized in the art all over Europe.
Many famous people and powerful people owned hair jewelry, including Napoleon, Admiral Nelson and Queen Victoria.
The hair would often come from someone of note to the jeweler. Often their lover, a family member or even someone of noble birth.
Seems like a weird trend until you remember there was time when golden “grills” over top of teeth were popular. Is this any weirder?