Human strands imitate a feather and miniature wheat leaves (symbolic of a life cut short) in this beautifully made brooch from the Victorian era, when both hair art and public displays of mourning were fashionable. Wistful for a loved one with golden strands and the initials BP, the owner surely wore this over a tender heart. This was an affordable piece for the everyday middle-class mourner. Hair was sometimes gathered and sent off for preparation by a jeweler, or the piece may have been purchased as a kit and lovingly put together by one of BP's female relatives. Victorian women had a lot of time on their hands, and often engaged in artwork at home.
Pallet work hair on milk glass, C-clasp. Unmarked. Estimated late 1800's. Some disintegration of hair (as to be expected for age); glass is very slightly loose in frame.
Made of a protein called keratin, hair (aka fur) is a feature that all mammals have in common. Kitty whiskers and porcupine quills are a form of hair too....we have not yet found either of those in a brooch. But we're looking!
Feather & Foxglove donates a portion of profits to environmental conservation and animal welfare organizations.