Princess Charlotte mourning pendant
This mourning jewel was commissioned in memory of Princess Charlotte of Wales, who died in 1817. The jewel contains a lock of hair and a portrait of the young princess.
At the beginning of the 19th century it was common for both men and women to wear sentimental jewellery in memory of loved ones and public figures.
Portrait miniature by or after Charlotte Jones (the royal miniaturist)
Gold, enamel, diamonds and hair
Given by Dame Joan Evans
This engraving shows a full-length version of the portrait on the front of the pendant.
As the only child of the Prince Regent (later George IV), Princess Charlotte was second in line to the throne. After the disreputable behaviour of her father, many saw her as a symbol of hope. Her death in childbirth at the age of 21 instigated a period of national mourning.
Stipple engraving by John Samuel Agar
After a portrait by Charlotte Jones
National Portrait Gallery, London
These diagrams show the techniques involved in working human hair into the elaborate shapes that decorated sentimental jewellery. The hair was first washed, and then curled with hot tongs before being flattened.
Hair-work was regarded as a genteel occupation for young women and remained popular until late in the 19th century.