Victorian Hair Mourning Piece, Vine with Flowers Atop Cross, Alouisa Johnson

Regular price $100.00

I found this art an estate sale in near Amherst, MA—the home of collectors of tons of daguerreotypes, primitives, American art pottery, Native baskets, and all sorts of other things. It took me a bit to realize it, but the piece—made entirely of strands of hair painstakingly looped and knotted around and through a wire armature—comprises a cross for the bottom layer, with a leafy vine punctuated with flowers over top. It was secured to paper, with the name Alouisa Johnson written in pencil just below it. I believe the carved frame is original to it, and that it dates to the 1880s or so.  Though I find Victorian hair pieces like this quite amazing, they can also be a bit much for me (!)-- so I find the relative concision and smaller size of this one just right.

11 1/2” x 9” x 7/8”.  Sight: 3 7/8” x 6 1/8”. A little aging to the paper and a some tiny stray bits of hair and dust but overall good condition. The card on the back of the frame has bowed/warped a bit due to the weight and depth of the hair piece. Stable and sturdy and tight, and the frame is in very good condition. Strung with a rope on the back for hanging.