In a recent episode of BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, a lock of braided hair inside an antique ring was thought to be from author Charlotte Brontë.
At the recording of the Antiques Roadshow at Erddig, North Wales, a woman bought in a ring that had belonged to her late father-in-law. Inside the ring was an inscription of the name Charlotte Brontë. The ring had a hinge which opened a small compartment containing a lock of plaited human hair.
Jewellery expert Geoffrey Munn said that in the 19th century, it was common for rings to contain the hair of deceased people for their relatives to remember them by. He said that he had no reason to doubt the authenticity of the hair in the ring.
Ann Dinsdale, the principal curator of the Brontë Society & Brontë Parsonage Museum, said that she also did not doubt that this was Charlotte Brontë’s hair. She said that she would like to buy the ring as it would be a “lovely addition” to the museum’s collection of Brontë items.
Munn said that the ring without the hair has a value of £25, but with it, he estimated that it could fetch as much as £25,000.
You will find many fine examples of 19th century antique sofas, desks, wardrobes and other antique furniture at Lancashire antique dealers. These are sold without the hair of famous people, and without the high price tag that a lock of hair from these people adds to an antique’s value.
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