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Hair pin (1)

Beul, Franz Leon

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Most Swiss women wore decorative hairpins with their traditional costume, which varied from valley to valley, and according to their marital status. In central and eastern Switzerland they also varied by day. On weekdays the women wore a plain flat hairpin, widening at each end. On Sundays and feast days they exchanged these everyday pins for more decorative ones, like this. These were worn horizontally, or at a slight angle, on the back of the head, stuck through a thick plait. The plait could be made from its owner’s hair, but it was frequently augmented with false hair, or coloured ribbons. These decorative Sunday hair pins grew bigger and bigger throughout the 19th century, reaching a length of over 35cm by around 1900. It is possible that this example has been cut down at some point, as it is much shorter than usual.

It is marked on the back with the letters FB. Franz Leonz Beul was a well-known maker of traditional jewellery in Lachen, in central Switzerland, in the 19th century.

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  • Title: Hair pin (1)
  • Creator: Beul, Franz Leon
  • Date Created: 1800/1870
  • Location: Lachen
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 16.7 cm, Width: 6.1 cm, Depth: 2.7 cm
  • Medium: Sheet silver, partly gilded, with silver filigree overlay decorated with red pastes and enamel

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