Reenacting is a fun and rewarding hobby. Whether you portray famous historical figures or your own fictional character, reenacting is a form of time travel for those of us who feel they were born in the wrong era. However, reenacting can be overwhelming and very expensive. I hope through this blog to help those new to the hobby, or even those veteran reenactors, to enjoy reenacting without breaking the bank. Blog posts will address things like developing your character, traditions and etiquette for different time periods, and affordable but accurate clothing options. So step back in time to days gone by...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bedecked. Bedazzled, and Bejeweled

Today hubby and I went to the Charleston Museum.
They have several special exhibits, in addition to the regular displays, one of which was a collection of antique jewelry.
I figured some of my blogland friends might want to join us to view this amazing display of sparkling treasures so I took plenty of pictures:).
The first case was filled with hair jewelry, a very popular form of jewelry during the Victorian era.
The back side of the pieces in this picture can be seen in the mirror below the brooches.
These little treasures are specifically for mourning.
Look at the detail in this ring!
(and yes, that's hair in the design).
This piece has the hair applied over the cross shapped base.
There were two ways to weave hair,
palette work and table work.
Some pieces utilize the hair of several people.
Hair jewelry was also given and worn as tokens of love.
This bracelet has ornamentation added to the braided hair.
The small pendants and other fittings could be ordered from catalogs.
Some people used their own hair while others ordered hair from catalogs.
Remember when Jo in Little Women sold her hair?
Now you know why:).
If you didn't want to make your own jewelry there were many jewelers that did it for you.
If you did do your own hair work you would have used a table like this one for table work (unless you were doing palette-work then you would use something similar to an artist's palette).
There were also lovely treasures from the sea like this demi-parrure set done in seed pearls.
Or this peacock brooch laden with pearls.
Let's not forget the cameos carved from shells.
This cameo set was complete with earrings, necklace, and hair comb. 
These cameos are made from lava.
Of course, pocket watches and fobs were also featured.
This was my favorite pocket watch with pearls surrounding the watch face, chatelaine hook, and elaborate watch chain.
Take note of the woven hair piece with tassels and fob dangliing delicately below.
This watch sports a fob and a watch key.
A watch fob with seal.
Detail of watch fob.
Here are some other treasures that caught my eye.
Well that's the jewelry exhibit.
I hope you enjoyed it!
Come back soon for the clothing and fans exhibit:).


  1. I wish they were all in my collection dont you?

  2. This is outstanding....i'm speechless. I've only seen a few pieces of hair art. Nothing so fine as these items. Amazing what people created. When I was about 18 years old I went to a Mennonite Museum in Newton, Kansas and saw hair art for the first time. It dumbfounded me. I stood in a daze looking at it. This was so not familiar to me in the early 70s.

    These pictures you've shared are awesome.

  3. Hi Kim,
    Oh!!! I so enjoyed all these beautiful images as I have been going through catching up on all your posts that I have missed while I was without internet and moving to the new old house ;-D
    Many Blessings and Lots of Hugs, Linnie