Brooch, 1754 England, the Victoria & Albert Museum
Hair had long been important in sentimental jewellery, but during the 18th century it took on a new prominence. It could now form the centrepiece of a jewel, arranged in complicated motifs or as plain, woven sections. Tiny fragments of hair could even be incorporated into delicate paintings. Some designs were made by professionals, but many women chose to work the hair of loved ones themselves, using gum to secure their creations.
Hair jewels were worn to cherish the living as well as to remember the dead. The survival of many pieces celebrating love and friendship indicate their great social importance
“One eye is green, the other alternately green and orange. The boots are bright red with two-and-a-half-inch risers. The blouse is orange see-through. The hair, dyed bright carrot, sticks straight up above the brow.”
To celebrate his 66th birthday today, David Bowie broke his long musical silence with his new single “Where We Are Now?” from a forthcoming album due in March. For a more vintage look at Bowie, take a look back at our Nov 9, 1972 cover story.
From 1968 and 1969, Jimi Hendrix was experimenting with new sounds and musical directions for First Rays of the New Rising Sun, the planned double-album follow-up to Electric Ladyland, and produced 12 previously unreleased recordings. You can listen to the 1968 psychedelic blues track “Somewhere,” which is among those unreleased recordings and features Buddy Miles on drums and Stephen Stills on bass.