The worlds first photograph made by a camera was taken in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niéce. It wasn’t much of a picture, to be honest, an image of rooftops taken out the window of his estate in Burgundy, France, but it was the start of something marvelous. It would take another 50 years for cameras and photographs to become truly wide-spread and another 140 or so years before they became something we all carry in our pockets all the time.
Before photographs were widely available, then, how would we remember a loved one who had died? If you had no portrait, no photo, no video, only your memory? Well, you might take a lock of your loved ones hair, maybe you would use it to paint a picture, maybe you would weave it into a ring, or perhaps even a chain to hold a beloved memento of the one you cherished.
Here is such a thing, an amazing, tightly woven, cord made entirely of hair, it has fittings on one end to hold the clasp and in the center it holds a wonderful locket set with a simple golden cross within an elaborately engraved frame. Inside the locket is the enamel portrait of a woman in a white bonnet with a blue background. The inscription inside the locket reads “Elizabeth Ann Bolton, Died Jan 9. 1865. Aged 70”.
This locket and the fittings are all crafted in 15 karat gold and were made in England around 1865. This exquisitely detailed piece measures 13.5 inches long and weighs 7.6 grams. The locket measures 39 mm north to south and 20 mm across.