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Randall House - Wolfville Historical Society

Wreath, Hairwork


Accession number: 75.C.15
Category: Memorabilia
Date: 1864 – 1865
Materials: Hair
Measurements: 42 cm W x 35 cm H x 8 cm DepthDimensions are of wreath itself; enclosure is 48x40; framed -57x50
Marks/Label: Inscription on original backing paper. Made by Miss Nancy Ells of Sheffield Mills, Kings County prior to her marriage in March 1865. Made of human hair. Donated by her grandson Sidney Po -wer?.
Narrative: The once popular art form of hair craft has a long history dating back many centuries and reached its peak of popularity in the 19th century. Locks of hair were gathered from newborn babies, living family members and acquaintances, or the deceased and fashioned into jewellery as well as works of art. Many colours and hues of hair were worked into flowers and leaves to form hair wreaths that could be framed and displayed on the wall. Hair wreaths became popular keepsakes but were sometimes created as a way of commemorating a loved one after death. This wreath was made by Nancy Ells, Sheffield Mills, Kings Co. N.S., prior to her marriage in 1865. The donor is her grandson, Sidney W. Power.
Description: A wreath of flowers, leaves and vines made of human hair; flowers have beaded centres; a separate posy in the centre of the space enclosed by the wreath; dark brown oval wood frame with glass; frame joined with mortis and tendon.


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