Friday, June 10, 2011

Mystery item revealed!

It was hard to photograph because of the glass and the light, but isn't it amazing?! It's from the Victorian Era, probably late 1800's, and it's been hiding in a corner for a long time, just waiting to be found by me. The last stop on our string of antique stores was this Victorian house in Fair Haven. It's a little inconspicuous from the outside - a beautiful brick exterior with intricate woodwork trim - but when you walk in, it's like that Hoarders show, but with really nice antiques. Probably better and more unusual antiques than you'd find almost anywhere, just piled, literally, from floor to ceiling. You wonder what's really even there because most of it is buried and covered with dust. Probably in most other antique stores most of the items would have been scooped up right away, but because you simply can't see most of it, you know there are magical things just waiting to be found. The only thing that brings you back to reality are the prices..you expect a dusty pile of stuff to be a bargain...but not quite at this place.
The owner, a super fascinating guy who followed us around chatting away, has a real appreciation for all of the objects and would probably be just as happy keeping them all as he would be selling them. But it was a real adventure going into his house. Just when we thought we saw everything, he opened another door and revealed another giant pile of things. And believe it or not, it was fairly organized with like things grouped together. We even went down into the basement, where many many many books and magazines lived (mom was happy as that's her forte). It was a neat adventure for sure!

So, back to the piece that I uncovered. I was looking at a kewpie cake topper when in the corner of my eye I spotted a part of this framed piece sticking out of a crevice in between a pile of boxes and a piece of furniture. I knew what it was immediately and was really surprised. I asked him about it and he was surprised that I even knew what it was, and even more, that I had an appreciation for it.

So what is it you ask? Well...it's something that rich Victorians had commissioned for their families way back when. The intricate detail of the flowers is amazing. It really reminds me of the seashell sailors Valentine's they made as souvenirs for Navy men around the same time, but I think these might be even more rare.

Each little flower is so delicate and detailed...and when it's moved, they have a gentle bounce to them.

Can you tell what the flowers are made of?

Can anyone guess? :)

13 comments:

LindaSonia said...

Is it a hair wreath??

GrayFlannel said...

Amazing! I've never seen anything like it. My first guess is the flowers are made from hair. Although they look like they c/b tiny seashells, but I'm going with my first guess.

I'd love to poke around in his shop too. Even though it would be dangerous because it sounds like a place where I'd want one of everything lol. Thanks for sharing. Hope you are enjoying your new home. Which it sounds like you are! :)

Petite Michelle Louise said...

intricately beautiful and oh-so-delciate. is it hair??

Anonymous said...

It is a Victorian mourning wreath in a shadowbox and
the flowers are made of human hair!!! I knew someone who owned one. How lovely!!

Carol T said...

I instantly thought they were made of hair. I must have read about these somewhere as I don't ever remember seeing one in person.

Barbara at Oodles and Oodles said...

I've only ever seen one hair wreath before, and it looked quite a bit different - but I think I'm going with the crowd on this one. It's an amazing piece of work!

laurie -magpie ethel said...

Hair was my guess too - it is really unusual and I haven't seen anything like it before. Sounds like and amazing shop and an amazing find

Lisa W. said...

What an interesting item ! That shop sounds like my kind of place !

Tina-Marie said...

I have a similiar hair wreath, sometimes called mourning wreaths. Although, not all of them were for mourning (well, I have decided mine is not...it is a happy wreath, lol). If it is a hair wreath, the last one I saw at antiques show had a $5,000 price tag on it (who knows if they will ever get that). Whatever it is, it is absolutely lovely and unique!

Mary B. in Texas said...

I did recognize it as a mourning wreath. The love behind it touches my heart. I have seen one in a higher end antique store. They are amazing and must have required so much work and skill. Are there a few beads in there?
How much fun you must be having with an all new antique hunting ground.
Mary

sMacThoughts said...

OH how great to make such a wonderful find!! Incredible work here; thanks for showing us this beauty!

Debra said...

Hair

Sarah Smith said...

oh goodness that is so lovely - what an amazing find....finally got the chance to visit your site and blog and now i am druling over your gorgeous work and treasures :)