Victorian Mourning Hair Art 19th C. Domed Glass Oval Frame Memento Souvenir

Victorian Mourning Hair Art 19th C. Domed Glass Oval Frame Memento Souvenir


The art of arranging these mourning and mementos of love and friendship was a booming industry in the 1800s, France. 

I've shown a page from a hair artist's catalogue of samples of ways a customer could choose to have their loved one's locks of hair worked. 

Sometimes the memento was to mark a daughter's departure to a convent, or a little son's first haircut, or a bride's offering to her husband or token to be left behind with her family as she moved away, unsure they'd ever be back.

Tokens of love, and also of mourning. The type you see in this one, thick elaborate curls, is the type used either to preserve the thick long hair of a young woman who is entering life as a nun and has had her locks shorn, or perhaps a young boy's long hair shorn as he turns about 4-5 and becomes his father's son, a rite of passage for a boy. 

Lastly, it might well be lush thick long hair mourning the loss of a relatively young loved one. 

All worked against an oval of French opaline glass, it is often the case that either the opaline or that deep bombe cover glass sustain damage over time. But this one is splendid.


14 x 13 cms

Excellent overall condition. no damage or missing parts. 


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