Extremely nice mid-19th Century woven hair watch chain with gold filled medallion decorated with intertwining initials/monogram. There are two hair chains on each end that are woven in three different patterns and connected in the center with two gold filled cylinder beads. Attached to one of the center beads is a gold filled medallion with open back that can be used for a photograph. Each end of the woven hair lengths is capped with a gold filled bead with the two end beads linked together - one ending in a chain for possibly attaching a watch fob and the other with the type hook normally used for attaching a pocket watch.
Dimensions: 10 1/2" long (not including the chains on each end), the center beads measure just over 1/2" long and just under 1/2" wide and the attached medallion measures 1" in diameter.
Condition: The woven hair lengths are in amazing condition with no noted flaws. Each of the gold filled areas including the beads, chains, pocket watch attachment and medallion back definitely show expected signs of normal wear and age. The locket does not snap open as there was never a metal back but originally would have had a glass cover to enclose a length of hair or photograph.
Hair art flourished during the Victorian Era although the technique dates back to the 1600's when hair bracelets were given as love tokens by both men and women. Many people believe that hair jewelry was made to remember a deceased loved one but most of this jewelry was made for gifts as tokens of affection. This custom was common before the invention of photography. Napoleon wore his watch on a chain made from the hair of his wife, Empress Marie Louise.
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