The backstory: Last year, a group of us went to Leila's Hair Museum.
When I first heard "hair museum", I thought hair like metal perm rollers, those old curling irons that were heated on a stove and horrors like tar based shampoo. But the hair museum is nothing like that- it's dedicated to the Victorian art of making jewelry, buttons, weavings and flowers out of hair. The hair museum is full of beautiful items and incredible workmanship.
Moving forward: At the last antique show I sold at, Julie, one of the gals I went the museum with, brought a book for me to look at because it had a large section of Victorian hairwork.
The book is called Under Glass: A Victorian Obsession by John Whitenight. I was enthralled with the book- beautiful pictures of all kinds of Victorian arts and crafts. Customers at the antique show would ask me questions and I would say "Leave me along, can't you see I'm reading a very good book". (ok, that never really happened).
I debated buying the book but $90 price tag seemed kind of steep.
Fast forward to last Friday. I got an email from Lisa saying she was going to her first auction and wanted some tips so she didn't go home empty handed, or the opposite and have to take out a bank loan and rent a U-Haul to bring her purchases home.
I called Lisa, and she said "I'm in line at Half Price Books, let me call you back".
So when she called back I had to ask:
"What did you buy?".
Lisa said "I found the most fabulous book called 'Under Glass'.
"How much was it?"
I was at Half Price Books in 10 minutes and came home with the five pound book in my excited hands.
So, I've spent the weekend in Victorian nerdville, looking at how they made wax fruit, beaded leaves and wove hair into flowers.
If you're fascinated by these beautiful and almost forgotten crafts, check out Under Glass: A Victorian Obsession. In the mean time, I'm back to reading about Victorian taxidermy.