Saturday, May 1, 2010

What Was The Purpose For A Hair Receiver ?

I found this beautiful hair receiver today at an Estate Sale.  I think it is Japanese and I believe it is hand painted.  I was telling my mom of my finds, and she asked me  "why did the women save their hair"?.  So I decided to find out, exactly what did they do with all the hair they saved.  What I found out was hair was used for many things.  Before pictures were being taken, they used hair as a keepsake of a loved one still alive or deceased.  They made jewelry using hair, these could be earrings, necklaces, brooches, or watch chains woven from hair. After the Civil War artwork was made, using different colors,  including pictures and mosaics. Added to these were ribbons, butterflies, and  dried flowers.  How to books were even written.  In the early 1800's hair was stored in cloth bags, in the later 1800's hair receivers were designed to specifically hold hair.  Hair was also used to make hair "rats".  These were pieces made to position against the scalp, hair was then teased and combed over the rat to create a more voluminous look.  And to think women go to a lot of trouble now with their appearance!


  1. Very interesting and very beautiful.

  2. Oh, wow. Interesting. Apparently they treasured hair back then. That piece is very pretty.

  3. Strange but true. My other half is an appraiser and just appraised a huuuuuge picture made out of hair from various members of a family dating back to 1774? 1779?. If you're interested, I could email you a pic. Cheers Monique xx