Elaborately crafted antique mid-1800s French hair art memorial, likely a souvenir of a child, since the blond hair is rather rare in adult memorials. This one is dark blond, all the same color. Some typical mourning iconography showing in the composition: tomb, urn, weeping willow and a cross; an evergreen tree and both dying and blooming plants plus that heart, which is a bit unusual. Each icon means something. A spectacular mourning icon in cut and pulverized hair, entirely. Sadly, most families buried more than one child in their time, and with no photos, mementos like this were the treasured icon left a parent in mourning. The art was quite popular, and you can see in our images the pages from a hair arts business, showing possible arrangements. This one is more intricately designed than most, and has wood worm damage to the frame as you can see, unfortunately because the hair art in this one is superb. Unique among those we've found and offered. The cover glass is intact, the hair art adhered to the white opaline glass backing upon which it has been worked. It is 5" x 4.5" oval and .5" thick. Aperture is 2.75" x 2.25" oval.
Very good condition on the hair art and only good on that frame, as noted abov. No chips nor cracks in cover glass nor in the opaline glass backing to the arranged hair locks. The hair isn't floating - perhaps a piece or two, but largely adhering still and stable. The old wood has a bit of woodworm damage you can see and is its only flaw to note. The original sealed backing has not been disturbed. It might benefit from being opened and the interior of the bombe glass cleaned very carefully, then put back together, but we will leave that decision to its next owner.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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