The highly decorated urn and pedestal with its dedication to John Birch stands out from the hairwork that surrounds it. A thick lock of hair forms the gently undulating trunk of a weeping willow whose “branches” spread out over the urn. Three sections of hair in graduating lengths create a stylized ground with individual blades of grass painted in watercolor. Underneath the background opalescent glass is a layer of textured foil that creates a shimmering effect when viewed in direct light. John Birch’s family commissioned multiple copies of this memorial—at least one other has been located in a German private collection.
Instead of a portrait of John Birch, the front of the miniature features a young woman. Her connection to John Birch in unknown. It is possible that the woman’s portrait was added at a later date.