As a rule, I don't care for the wide hair bracelets that were popular during the mid-Victorian period, but I fell in love with this one when I first saw it. It's so unusual, because most Scottish jewelry is silver, and I have never personally seen a Scottish bracelet with woven hair (as opposed to hair under glass), and this one is such a fine piece, and is in mint condition. I think it has been folded in a jewelry box all its life. The hair pattern is intricate, and there isn't a hair misplaced. It even has fabric inside to keep the hair away from the body, so as not to scratch, and also to keep the hair of the beloved clean. When I looked at the tightly woven hair with a loupe, I was fascinated that anyone could do this type of work. Then we have the lovely clasp, tested 18 k, with the thistle in gold on the sides, entertwined with a flower that I suppose is the rose, representing England. The Scottish stones are set beautifully. There is blue john, lapis, sodolite, malachite, and some types of agate I don't know the names of. Counting the clasp, the bracelet measures 6 and 3/4 inches, but actually, the hair has stretch power so it could be pulled out to 7 inches, I am sure. The part of the clasp which goes inside the other part measures 1/2 inch, so we have a good 6 and 1/2 inches of wrist coverage. If one wishes a striking, historical piece, circa 1835, this is it.
Hair Bracelet, 18 K Clasp, Scottish, Early Victorian
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