19th-Century Hair Jewelry Collection
Appraised Value: $4,000 - $6,000
IMAGE: 1 of 6
Appraisal Video: (2:31)
APPRAISER: When you came to my table, I just couldn't believe the extent of this collection of hair jewelry and hair memorabilia. You have here, really, the birth almost of the industry...
APPRAISER: ...from the pattern-making, which I have never seen patterns, and actually books that tell you exactly how many strands of hair you need to make the bracelets.
GUEST: That's right.
APPRAISER: I mean, that alone is a great find, and then this great book on hair culture, which I would love to read. But what I love is over here. These are magazines from the 1860s printed in Philadelphia. It's called “Peterson's.” I call it the Martha Stewart of the 1860s.
APPRAISER: You can learn how to make lace, bake a cake, and this shows wonderful hair jewelry. And this card here shows what I call works in progress. You've got different patterns of hair, different colors and styles that are not done yet. This is a long, 54-inch--
GUEST: 54 inches, yes.
APPRAISER: --strand of different samples--
APPRAISER: --of the kind of weavings that you can do. This is one of my favorites. It's a photograph of "how do you dry your long hair?" and she clipped it on a clothesline. I think it's absolutely charming. And this brooch, showing a swivel, where two pieces--
APPRAISER: --and examples of hair plating are shown. Even down to this Hall's Vegetable Sicilian Hair Renewer -- it's an advertising card. And the Sutherland Sisters, the soap that they would use and advertise, and here is a photograph of the seven sisters actually showing them with clean hair. They actually appeared in the circuses, we believe. But the one I love the best is the photograph of you, looking, letting your hair down--
GUEST: Letting my hair down, yeah.
APPRAISER: --and just showing how beautiful your hair is, and you did tell me you did not cut it since you were 13.
GUEST: No, I haven't cut it. Well, I've trimmed the bottom a foot or two once in a while.
APPRAISER: I guess everything comes down to dollars and cents.
APPRAISER: It's very difficult to evaluate this collection. It's so interesting, it's so extensive, but if I had to guess—a museum might want to own it-- between $4,000 and $6,000.
GUEST: You're kidding.
APPRAISER: Yes. Can you believe that for hair?
GUEST: I am surprised, I am surprised.
APPRAISER: Well, I'm not and I'm thrilled. Thanks for coming to the ROADSHOW.
GUEST: Thank you very much.
APPRAISER: You're welcome.
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