Mid 19th Century-Early 20th Century
A glass dome with a round wooden base containing a floral arrangement made from human hair. Each flower is attached with thin wire to a central base which is held in a green vase. White plastic orchids, fabric flowers, silver foiled paper leaves, wedding bells, horse shoes and a silver painted wish bone are arranged around the base of the vase. The interior of the base is lined with felt.
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All the hair used in this striking ornament came from members of the Hunt family who settled in New Plymouth during the 1840s. Each ‘flower’ has been carefully attached with thin wire to a central base. Plastic orchids, fabric flowers, foiled leaves, wedding bells, horse shoes and a painted wish bone complete the arrangement at the base. It is thought the final strands of hair were added during the 1920s.
Hairwork, as it is known, was extremely popular in the late 19th century.
As well as floral arrangements, hair was also made into jewellery such as rings, bracelets, necklaces and watch chains. Sometimes the hair used was even taken from deceased loved ones.