Untitled (Case with portraits of a man and woman and hair ornaments)

Untitled (Case with portraits of a man and woman and hair ornaments)

c. 1870s

Photographs: photographs on enamel, framed in copper alloy metal frames; hair lockets: hair with pen and black and ink on cream-colored backing; case: leather with metal push-clasp and velvet-lined interior

Image: 3.5 x 3 cm (1 3/8 x 1 3/16 in.); Case: 9 x 5 x 1 cm (3 9/16 x 1 15/16 x 3/8 in.)

John Cook Memorial Fund 2017.9

Description

The photographs of this man and woman, presumably husband and wife, are juxtaposed with clippings of their hair arranged to form their initials, A and M. In the late 1800s, photographic portraits and hair clippings combined in jewelry or frames served as mementos or memorials for loved ones. For permanence, the portraits here were vitrified on enamel, a process now used primarily for funerary monuments.

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