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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Brooch/Pendent
Identifier: 2005.1.26
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: c.1865
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2005
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A 9 carat yellow gold round pendent/brooch set with a border of half pearls. The centre has a round glass dome that covers a lock of light brown hair. There are 18 half pearls that are set in a border around the hair with an additional smaller 18 half pearls set in between the larger pearls. There is a bale set with 6 pearls so it can be worn as a pendent as well as a clip on the back so it can be worn as a brooch.

History: This brooch belonged to Matilda Lindsay (c.1802-1887), Captain James Harrisís sister who lived in Perth in Scotland. Matilda Lindsay was a consistent correspondent with her brother and sent many care packages to Captain Harris and his family. In a list of jewellery she sent to Canada c. 1882, Matilda lists a pearl locket with the hair of her husband, Colonel Lindsay (c1798-1861), inside.
Hair jewellery's popularity began in the 17th century with the custom of distributing mourning rings with a lock of the deceasedís hair. The trend grew and increased in variety in the 18th and 19th centuries. Queen Victoria is credited with the English fascination with hair jewellery as she often wore and gave hair jewellery throughout her life. By the mid-19th century hair was no longer only used under glass in lockets or rings but made into entire pieces of jewellery. Hair was woven into intricate designs and pieces including bracelets, watch chains, earrings, etc. Hair jewellery was popular in France, England and the United States.
Kathleen Agnes Sayers neť Colloton (19xx -1981) was the wife of Geoffrey Sayers. Kathleen, known as Kay, married Geoffrey in 1933 at St. Peterís Anglican Church in Erindale. Kay and Geoffrey never had any children and were the last Harris relatives to live at Benares. This jewellery was part of Kay Sayers Estate and was donated by Geoffrey Sayers. Many of these pieces were originally from inheritances through the Harris and Draper families.
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