Rapunzel's Delight .com
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Victorian Hair Art
I am currently writing a book on the "parlor arts" of the 19th century. One of the chapters is devoted to hair work (which I am sure you are familiar with).. This was the flowers that women made out of their hair and family member's. .Some pieces are memorial pieces. They put these hair flower arrangements under glass domes and into shadowboxes.
I have been collecting hair work items for almost 30 years. So I have some extraordinary items all of which will be featured in my book. Mourning pieces as well as "family trees" of hair collected from family members. This is an area of Victorian folk art that has long been under appreciated, and I want to help put it in the spot light. I will discuss in the book the various techniques used in the art of hair work. Back in 1998, a small group of us formed the Victorian Hairwork Society (hairworksociety.org hairwork.com). I believe one of the members still posts the site, but for all intents and purposes, the club is totally inactive (shame). Also, there is the hair work Museum in Missouri run by Leila Cohoon (Hairwork Musemun). Basically hair work is an acquired taste. But no matter how many pieces I have seen over these years, it still intrigues me with its subtle beauty.
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John Whitenight has collected antiques since he was a young boy. Along with his fever for collecting came a thirst for knowledge and a love affair with all things involving the Victorian era. Currently,his private collection consists of over 175 domes from four inches high to well over three feet high. As voracious for information as for new specimens, he has, over the years, become something of a scholar on domes and the various art forms beneath them. Feeling that this is an area that has been grossly overlooked in the study of 19th century decorative arts, Mr. Whitenight has decided it was time to put these wonderfully whimsical and eccentric Victorian concoctions into the spotlight where they belong; to this end, he is hard at work on a lavishly illustrated book on the topic entitled Under Glass, A Victorian Obsession.