A wonderful Victorian "barley sugar twist" double Albert/Albertina pocket watch chain fashioned from human hair with rolled gold fittings. Crafted from twisted braids of glossy dark brown hair the watch chain has gold end caps, two dog clips and a central T-bar. It is in very good antique condition and will last for many for moons to come with a modicum of care, condition is a key factor in antique hairwork jewelry so any deterioration or damage to the hair will have a negative effect on its appearance and durability.
MATERIALS: human hair, rolled gold
DATE: Victorian, circa 1880
MEASUREMENTS: Measures 12" (30 cm) end to end and 6.5mm diameter. The hair braids measure 4" each side.
CONDITION: The hair is still tightly woven and there are no signs of any breakage, fraying or rot. The rolled gold has minimum wear and is still nice and shiny with an antique patina at the end caps.
A delightful example of hairwork jewellery, very collectible and popular. Once an integral part of the Victorian wardrobe Albert watch chains were used by both men and women (the ladies versions were known as Albertinas) to attach a pocket watch to the vest or jacket. Hair chains might have been memorial or mourning pieces or they may have simply been worn as love tokens. To the Victorians sentimental hair jewelry represented love. loss, intimacy and friendship.