Woven hair jewelry was a labor of love done in the 1800s by women with leisure time. Each watch chain is unique but, with this piece, the watch winding key is even more unusual-the gold fill key has a tip that rotates independently, a fancy twisted shank, and the finial is the traditional mining symbol of a crossed sledge hammer and a chisel. My guess is that this was the possession of a mine owner or boss and not a mine worker. The hair is woven in three alternating styles of which one weave is the same, just woven tightly and loosely, and the middle is a corkscrew style weave. The fancy end caps and connector, as well as the hook for the button and the dog swivel hook are gold filled.
The chain is 13" from the hook to the end of the clasp. The hair chain averages 3/8" diameter and the connector is 5/8". The key is 2" long. There is wear of the gold on the fittings. The chain has the typical loose hairs or fraying, not significant and it could be neatly trimmed. There are no breaks and the connector's two cartouches are not monogrammed.
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