EXQUISITE, CIVIL WAR MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT’S WATCH FOB / CHAIN MADE FROM BRAIDED HUMAN HAIR

$295.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1109-09

Presented here is a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient’s pair of dress accessories in the form of two watch fobs made of braided human hair. Corporal John Kane of Company K, 100th New York Volunteer Infantry, was presented the Congressional Medal of Honor for his gallantry at Petersburg, VA in April 1865.

There are two hair watch chains in this grouping, both made of human hair, as well as a small paper tag with a handwritten note identifying the veteran.  Hair jewelry and hair decorations were very popular at the time and were usually made from the hair of family loved ones and presented as a lasting sign of remembrance and love.  Long, human hair strands were intricately and tightly braided together to form thick strings that in turn were handcrafted into specialized jewelry forms.

One of these beautifully braided and woven watch fobs measures approximately 9¾” and is fitted with brass hooks, bands and clasps.   Mid band bears the veteran’s initials “J K” handsomely engraved on the face in English script letters. The second hair chain is also braided and fitted with brass furniture and measures 12” long.   Both watch chains are in excellent original condition.  The paper tag is period and measures 3” long x 2½” high and exhibits a handwritten note done in black ink that reads “Keep this photo and / Wach Chain.  It belonged / to my Uncle John Kane / who was given the / Hero’s Medal by / Congress.” Along one edge of the note is also written “given to me with / this photo when he / came home from the war”. The photo spoken of is missing.

An excellent research project that calls for more study. The two hair watch chain specimens are wonderful examples of hair jewelry and would make an ideal addition to any collection.  [ra] [ph:L]

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