Hair Jewelry Victorian Era

Hair jewelry in the Victorian era was a widely popular fashion accessory, with intricate, detailed pieces crafted from human locks. In the latter half of Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837-1901, jewelry made from human hair was seen as a highly sentimental physical representation of loved ones.

It served as an important symbol and reminder for those separated due to circumstances such as migration or death. Hair jewelry became such an integral part of romantic relationships that mourning jewelry was often commissioned after the passing of a partner to commemorate their life with a trinket showcasing them at their best.

Detailed Craftsmanship and Styles

As the trend spread from its origins in England, hair pins, necklaces and brooches began to take various forms in countries across Europe and North America alike. Tailors fashioned extraordinary creations by weaving hair into different patterns – some elaborate braids while others favored twirling loops and decorative knots.

Colored threads were usually implemented as highlights to bring an extra touch of glamour to the pieces. With its number of delicate components – pins, beads coupled with unlimited design combinations – hair jewelry offered many choices for the fashion-savvy women of the Victorian Era; they could even make custom-made pieces that resembled clothing accessories or fruits like strawberries or cherries.

Preserving Hair Treasures

The luster and hue of this type of adornment was unfortunately unpredictable due to its organic nature; using special products had become part of the maintenance routine for these refined pieces over time. Chemicals like caustic soda were used when cleaning hair lace from impurities resulting from sweat and sebum combined with acidic air pollutants.

Various methods enabled curators during this period to preserve vintage treasures so that future generations can admire them today – providing only one more testament to talented artisans’ creative capabilities during this era.

Historical Significance of Hair Jewelry in the Era

The Victorian era is notorious for its lavish lifestyle and grandeur fashion. Women in this era greatly admired the beauty of wearing hair jewelry due to its exquisite designs that range from pearl chains and hairpins to watches, miniature portraits, and lockets embedded with meaningful symbols or photographs. This trend of adorning the hair is deeply rooted in ancient traditions such as Greek culture where it was seen as a sign of beauty and refinement.

Hair jewelry was often used to signify a woman’s status, wealth, and class. It was not uncommon for these items to be crafted with expensive materials such as gold, silver, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and other precious gemstones. Victorian women were particularly drawn to these unique pieces of jewelry because they served as tangible memorials to their beloved departed family members or friends.

Hair jewelry also provided a way for them to express their personal style in a very subtle yet elegant way. The artistry involved in making these intricate pieces was highly appreciated by many at the time and some took pride in owning them even if those who could not afford them were more likely to purchase more affordable alternatives made out of porcelain or glass.

The popularity of hair jewelry continued into the Edwardian period where there was an increased emphasis on quality rather than quantity when it came to creating new styles of these accessories. The items created during this era gained particular notoriety among royalty members who often wore statement pieces such as diamond-studded hair combs or intricately crafted pearl necklace pins that showed off their class and social standing.

Hair jewelry became an unprecedented popular item amongst everyone in the upper classes during this time frame despite its lack availability amongst the lower classes at large due its extremely wealthy aura that commanded attention anywhere you go.

Types of Hair Ornaments and Accessories in the Era

The Victorian era is well known for its beautiful and intricate hairstyles that women were expected to keep up with. One of the most important details to these fashions were the use of hair jewelry. Just as important as clothing and accessories, hair adornments ranged in many types of jewels, ribbons, beads, feathers and lace that made each hairstyle more exquisite than the next.

In addition to adding an aura of beauty to their outfits, one of the main reasons why women chose to accessorize their hair during this era was because they wanted a way to make special occasions more prominent. Many brides chose head pieces such as tiaras or flowers made from real gems and pearls in order to make a statement on the day of their wedding.

The same could be said for attending exclusive parties or ceremonies which would call for unique elements in their styling choices.

Modern interpretations of hair jewels often pay homage to what people from this era have created years before. Necklaces can be hanged at the nape of the neck and pieces can be worn in a bun like what many Victorian women had done as well.

Hair pins with intricate designs are also a popular choice when it comes to adding an old-world charm into present day fashion trends – something that fits right into today’s aesthetic while still retaining its connection with pre-modern elements.

Victorian Jewelry Era Models

Materials Used for Hair Jewelry in the Era

The Victorian Era was a time of rapidly changing values and traditions. Hair jewellery was one way in which this could be expressed. The materials used for hair jewellery during the Victorian Era were varied and included items such as gold, silver, ivory, and even camel hair. Gold was an extremely popular metal used in Victorian era jewelry as it was seen to signify wealth and class.

Silver was also frequently used during this period because it provided a softer finish to designs. Ivory was also widely utilized due to its perfect white colour. Finally, exotic materials like camel hair were also employed to provide unique designs not achievable with conventional metals or stones.

Gold jewelry specifically gained popularity due to its apparent beauty and durability. Gold is still widely used today for many different pieces including brooches, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more by luxury brands such as Cartier and Tiffany & Co., so its popularity certainly has staying power.

For example, one of the most common pieces made from gold during this era were circlet combs – combs featuring intricate designs with pearls or shells lining them – that were worn in the front or side of the hair using pins.

Ivory and other organic materials such as horn or tortoiseshell were commonly used in combination with gold elements on various pieces of jewelry such as tiaras, circlets, and pendants during this period. Although organic materials tend to be relatively fragile compared to metal counterparts, they provided intricate details which appealed to wealthy Victorians who enjoyed displaying their refinement through luxurious objects of beauty.

For example rose gold tiaras intertwined with ivory filigree work would have been considered symbols of wealth and style that only wealthy Victorian women could afford ownership of.

Overall Jewelry representing fashion within the Victorian Era frequently consisted of bold combinations between precious metals (like silver, gold) exquisite stones (like diamonds), alongside rare organic materials (such as ivory). This helped create an ornate style that still has influence today through modern interpretations throughout high fashion labels worldwide.

Manufacturing Techniques of Victorian Hair Jewelry

The manufacturing process of Victorian era hair jewelry was an intricate and long-lived craft. It has been around since the late 1700s, evolving with new techniques such as die-stamping, machine engraving and enameling.

Hair jewelry was a way to commemorate deceased loved ones or those that moved away during this time period. Much of the Victorian production focused on mourning pieces, which were often seen in jet black settings with intricate designs that signified love, loss, faith and remembrance.

One technique used to create these pieces included hand knotting tiny strands of various colors of hair from deceased family members into a core thread of metal wire, creating a pattern similar to crocheting. The metal wire was loosely coiled before being held tightly in place by soldering points along the entire length.

This formed an astonishingly detailed frame for each individual piece of art. From there semi-precious stones or glass gems could be skillfully set using prongs anchored throughout the metal frame for additional beauty and texture.

The other primary manufacturing method available during this period was making marquetry type panels comprised out of small sections cut from larger pieces of Goldsmith’s work or jet black hair gathered into memento mori scenes or still life arrangements. This marquetry style could be plaques encasing a pinchbeck false front plate as well as adorning watch chains or pins into fanciful imaginations capturing public imaginations.

Of course no piece would be complete without some kind of inscription – usually quotes memorializing their loved one – which were artfully engraved onto either the metal backing or the faux front plate itself allowing 19th century people to truly celebrate lives lost in loving ways; something we still do today.

Popular Hair Jewels of the Period and Their Meanings

The Victorian era was a period of time between 1837 – 1901 when the english monarchy of Queen Victoria was the ruling force. This was an era of strict etiquette and fashion which included hairstyles worn by society women and those given titles. One essential accessory to these hairstyles were hair jewels, which were highly ornamental pieces that were designed to be attached to a headpiece or worn directly on the hair.

While we think of hair jewels primarily as decorations, many carried special meaning during this period. Hair jewels such as gemstone diamonds and sapphires were thought to bring luck to the wearer while pearls symbolized femininity and innocence, particularly in unmarried women. Brooches could bear royal crests in honour of the monarch at the time, revealing very clearly their loyalty to the crown.

Those who wore fancy chignons or buns with elaborate braids often adorned these with pins made from precious metals like gold and silver, studded with diamond chip stones, glass beads in various shapes like stars or hearts, rhinestones and other semi-precious stones. Flowers made from enameled metal or precious shells became a favorite amongst fashionable folk in this time period, as did butterflies because they represented liberty - a concept gaining popularity due to feminism.

Victorian Era Costume Jewelry

The large tiaras that women adored were also made up of items like beads, flowers and ribbons all carefully arranged into plaits on a comb or headband using feathers, lace and ribbons for effect.

Hair jewelry wasn’t exclusive just to women though; it was customary for men to wear decorations when going out in public too. The most popular choice for men’s hair jewelry (or cravats) was either gold knots pinned onto embellished cravat neckbands or simple silk cravat neck wear with tipped ends finished off with a piece of jewelry at each end (like an eagle).

Gold stick pins known as “spangles” were also popular among male members of high society who preferred luxury while refraining from ostentation.

Religious and Cultural Influences on Victorian Hair Jewelry

During the Victorian era, hair jewelry was used to symbolize meaningful connections between two people, such as religious beliefs and cultural values. Women typically styled their locks in intricate designs, often intertwining strands of their hair with those of a loved one. Hair jewelry also served as a tribute to departed family members, with members of the same family contributing their own locks to form the final product.

The practice of memorializing the deceased by braiding their hair into jewelry originated in Europe during the Middle Ages but gained particular resonance in England during the Victorian Era. Many pieces paid homage to prominent figures from Christianity such as Jesus and Mary; others featured symbols associated with Roman Catholicism or Protestantism.

For example, crucifixes and rosaries crafted from human hair were popular mementos for a grieving widow or grieving parent to wear in remembrance of their lost loved one. Some examples even included details such as a portrait of the deceased person’s face intertwined within the ornament itself, providing an intensely personal way for mourners to remember those who have passed away.

Hair jewelry created during the Victorian period also incorporated many new materials due to advancements in science and technology. One standout example is Vitreous Enamel Jewelry – otherwise known as “petrified” jewelry because it infused pieces with glass crystals which were believed to help preserve beloved memories and protect against evil spirits.

This type of jewelry represented an increased sense of craftsmanship and sophistication revealing sophistication due to its superior quality and colorful appearance which was seen as more desirable than simple silver-colored steel offerings available at the time.

As well as this, nearly all types of hair jewels could be found adorned with semi-precious stones such as pearls or rubies, providing fashionable sentiments that conveyed strong religious symbolism alongside traditional themes such as friendship, love, and loyalty between family members.


The Victorian Era was a time of great interest and experimentation with fashion. Due to the growth of industrialization, jewelry and hairdressing in England had become more accessible and elaborate than ever before. The Victorian era saw a dramatic increase in the popularity of hair jewelry.

This type of jewelry was unique as it incorporated both styles from the past and modern concepts. Hair jewelry could be worn as a symbol of love or memory for those who had passed away. It was also seen as an extension of one’s self-expression, allowing women to craft intricate hairstyles and adorn them with eye-catching accessories.

During this period, women placed a great emphasis on adorning their elaborate hairstyles with beauty products like ribbons, pearls, flowers, bows, netting and feathers. Alongside these classic items were pieces made from the wearer’s own hair, combined into locks and loops that formed intricate patterns called plaited love knots.

These became incredibly popular souvenirs among lovers during this time as they were seen as symbols of eternal faithfulness in relationships. Not only were these custom pieces beautiful expressions of love between two individuals, but also beautiful mementos of those who had passed away that could be kept close to oneself even after they were gone.

Women were not the only members in society to take up wearing hair jewelry during this period. Men also began accessorizing their suits with pins crafted out of human hair strands twisted together into spirals or braids that served as brooches for their lapels or collars. These small tokens became widely accepted as signs of masculine power, respectability and wealth in English culture throughout this time period.

Hair jewelry has been enjoyed and appreciated throughout dozens of cultures for centuries – none more so than during the Victorian Era where its alluring quality contributed greatly to fashion trends around Britain at the time. Be it curlers made from loved ones’ locks or tailored brooches crafted solely for men – each piece was truly unique gain acknowledgement for such timeless designs which still hold significant sentimental value today even after their long history ended many centuries ago.

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