This wonderful antique Victorian/Edwardian hair work "Albertina" pocket watch chain has silver gilt fittings and a beautiful sterling silver & gold fob bearing full British hallmarks.
Fashioned from human hair that is tightly woven around thick cord the chain has gold plated silver fittings and end caps that are engraved in a floral pattern. The chain is nice and flexible and it has the requisite T-bar, dog clips and a delightfully feminine sterling silver pendant fob adorned in a rose gold monogram.
This hairwork watch chain is in very, very good condition, there are minor hair breakages at the very edges which is to be expected. Surprisingly robust despite being made from hair these watch chains have stood the the test of time and are a lot more resilient than you might think!
Once an integral part of the Victorian and Edwardian wardrobe Albert watch chains were used by both men and women (the feminine versions were called Albertinas) to attach a pocket watch to the vest or jacket. Chains made from hair might have been worn as a mourning piece but they were just as likely worn as a sentimental token to the living, to the Victorians wearing hair jewelry represented love. loss, intimacy and friendship. A delightful example of classic hairwork jewellery and very collectable!
MATERIALS: Chain woven hair, silver gilt. Fob sterling silver, 9ct gold
DATE: circa 1900, Edwardian/Victorian
MEASUREMENTS: Chain measures 17" (44 cm) end to end and 7mm diameter, drop length 5" (12.5cm), fob 1" x 1" (2.5cm)
WEIGHT: 18.3 grams
HALLMARKS: fob 'anchor' for Birmingham, 'lion passant' for sterling silver, date letter 'g' for 1906 and makers mark 'J.M'
CONDITION: in very, very good condition with light surface wear as expected in an antique piece.
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Materials: Sterling Silver, 9ct Gold, Braided Hair.