A bracelet steeped in history this wonderful Pinchbeck "gold" and woven hair wide panel bracelet dates to the Georgian era circa, 1820. An elegant and incredibly personal piece that suited the fashionable lightweight floral silk gowns of the romantic Regency period.
A rare survivor, although hair jewellery is surprisingly resilient, the bracelet features dark blonde hair braided into multiple chains and woven with gold beads. The hair chains are attached to a wide floral embossed decorative gold clasp at the front which fastens with a hidden shovel catch. The bracelet measures 1-1/4" (30mm) wide and slightly over 7" (18cm) in length.
The bracelet is in very good antique condition with expected signs of wear and age. The chains are still tightly braided with no signs of fraying. There is a very old repair to one of the hair chains at the front where it meets the clasp which could be easily improved upon aesthetically with a minimum of effort. There is another small repair to the hair work on the back too, refer to the photos. The clasp is in perfect working order and closes securely. The bracelet is very comfortable to wear, it is still nice and supple with plenty of flexibility.
All in all, a wonderful antique bracelet with a great age to it. The fascination with hair jewellery was especially pertinent because people believed that hair had a sacred and immortal quality. It was extremely fashionable and was worn as a sentimental love token or for mourning because it was a way to keep people close to you, even in death.
Pinchbeck is an antique gold substitute named after its inventor Christopher Pinchbeck who was a London clockmaker. Invented in 1720 it had all the appearance of the high carat gold of the age and was typically gilded in real gold so that it retained its bright yellow colour. Today true Pinchbeck jewellery is rare and highly collectible in its own right.