For those who feel as if they were born in the wrong era, The Quintessential Victorian is a place for you to indulge in all things Victorian. Fix a cup of tea, relax, and allow yourself to be transported to the most glorious era in history...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Emma's World-Parasols!

Ladies in the Victorian and Edwardian eras used parasols to shade their delicate skin and eyes from the harmful rays of the sun.
The following parasols date from the 1860s to the early 20th century.

Parasol: ca. 1845, silk, cotton, metal, semi-precious stones, pearls, ivory. Marking: [label] "Verdier"
For more pretty parasols visit:

Friday, August 9, 2013

Hair Work-Table Work

This post shows table hair work.
Table works creates three dimensional hair jewelry using weaving patterns often found in books of the era.
 This antique weaving table is part of the Charleston Museum collection.
Three dimensional hair brooches in a bow pattern.
The gold fittings were ordered from catalogs in the 19th century.
Watch fob of hair with gold findings and locket.
 Table hair work bracelet with gold findings bedecked with a crystal.
Hair bracelets in different designs.
Thanks for joining the posts this week on Victorian era hair work!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pallet Hair Work-Love Tokens

There is a certain romance in the exchange of a lock of hair from a loved one.
This piece shows neatly woven hair for the background of  a love knot created with the hair of another.
The photo of a gentleman graces the opposite side, probably the provider of the dark hair.
No doubt a lovely young lady wore this brooch on her collar proudly displaying the image of her true love with a token of love hidden behind it.

Intricately woven hair beneath the glass of this delicate piece.

A commonly seen pattern called prince of Wales curls embellished with gold thread and pearl beads.
 A tiny example of woven hair beneath the center glass of this ring.

An unusual pattern using hair from two people and finished with a pearl bead at the flower center.
 Variation of prince of Wales curls.
Tomorrow I will share table hair work!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hair Work Pallet Work

This post focuses on pallet hair work.
Hair was worked on something like an artists pallet and was generally flat to be placed in jewelry settings.
The first few pictures are mourning pieces combining hand-painting and hair work to memorialize a loved one.

The next two pieces are most likely love tokens also done as pallet work.
Pallet work was used in brooches, rings, and pendants.

The pieces featured in this post are property of the Charleston Museum.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Artistry of Hair Work

This week I will be posting on the art of hair work, a popular pastime in the Victorian era.
As creepy as this may sound I would bring to the attention of all the mom's out there that one of the first keepsakes from a child is usually a lock of hair:).

Ladies would weave hair collected from themselves, family and/or friends into wreaths or bouquets.

Some added beads, or if the piece were for mourning, a photo of the deceased.
Hair work is not always for mourning!
It was also used as love tokens.

The book pictured at the beginning of this post contains patterns that the ladies would use to create these beautiful masterpieces.

Most often the finished creation was housed in a shadow box frame.
Hair work could also be displayed beneath a glass dome.

Many a Victorian lady spent evenings in the parlor working on hair work.
However, with the outbreak of the civil war this pastime went by the wayside inn this country as most women had to take over the duties of men who were off fighting in the war thus eliminating the time to partake in such activities.

For those interested in learning more about hair work in jewelry the book by Jeannine Bell is a must!
It provides information and photos about hair jewelry as well as tips for collecting this amazing art form.