Table Decoration with Hair Flowers

Bee, Mary Bryce (b.1870, d.1899)
Production date
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Object detail

A floral, Victorian table decoration. It is an example of a then popular craft, consisting of flowers made from human hair. The flowers and foliage are constructed by wrapping the hair around pieces of wire and then shaping it. Typically the hair was boiled first. A variety of different coloured hair has been used and some of the flowers also have beaded details. Coloured thread has been used in places to hold the hair to the lengths of metal wire. The arrangement is on a yellow satin base and is then contained within a glass dome with a wooden base.

This item was made by Mrs R. McDowell (nee Mary Bryce Bee) of Weston, North Otago in 1895. At this time she would have been around 25 years. She died aged 29 very soon after the birth of her only child, Horace Bee McDowell.
Production place
Production date
Production period
Collection type
Human hair, glass
H 230mm x W 188mm x D 188mm
Accession number
System ID
Current Rights
Culture Waitaki Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence
Culture Waitaki Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence
Organisation Credit Line
Collection of the Waitaki Museum. Id 4940


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