Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hairy Babies and Silky Blankets


While at LEILA'S HAIR MUSEUM in Independence, Missouri, I discovered a new hair art antiquity to collect..... baby portraits. They are a lot like the hair postcards I've already been maniacally collecting, except maybe a teensy bit spookier. They are centered around these kind of stock portraits (often those by Annie Benson Muller) of peaceful looking babies, and then decorated with perfect curls of real human hair, and surrounded by glued on fabric to represent sheets (mostly satin) and little baby garments (puffed sleeves, usually). There are often cute little extra touches too, like embroidery on the sheets, carefully laid wrinkles in the fabric for added realism, tiny bows, and cute wallpaper backgrounds.

 ILOVE THIS ONE...the red hair! the ruffled pillow! those tiny blue bows!

It's so different to see them in person because of the beautiful fabrics and textures and almost everything has its own 3d puffiness, all except the face and hands...

this ones a good example of an illustrated paper background
detail

this one looks so goofy and so rudimentary ... so great
detail

this ones mine!!!
detail

There doesn't seem to be an official name for these, at least not that I have heard. I'm also a little unclear about certain specifics such as, were they made to memorialize a newborn? Are they mourning pieces? Is the hair that of a real baby/At what point in the baby's life are they made? Cause yknow, it doesn't seem like babies have that much hair to spare, right? If you guys have any info please let me know!!

I WANT THIS ONE SO BAD BUT ITS WAY WAY EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!!!
photos from various ebay auctions

7 comments:

  1. Babies wearing toupees! That's too funny! I can't believe all the work that went into these cards, though. They must have been thought of as really special. I never even knew about these. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. it's not often I can describe something as both adorable and kinda creepy. thanks for bringing this into my life!

    ReplyDelete
  3. :D im so glad someone else likes them besides me!

    also lauren they aren't cards - i should have mentioned! they are really framed pieces sized about 11 x 14 or 12 x 16 ish. which makes them way more amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. These are still pretty awesome... I think I actually like the one you pointed out as yours best. Keep the hair memorabilia coming! Ha ha.

    ReplyDelete
  5. oh my god these are amazing! I've never seen one before, I agree a little creepy but I definitely would like one...the search begins!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have one that my mother bought from an auction in Vermont. I would like to find a good home for it. Unfortunately, it would have to be local pick-up because I doubt whether it would safely transport through the mail.
      https://post.craigslist.org/k/5o1S6mbQ4xGN0adgAKIR-A?s=edit

      Delete
  6. I have one like this that my mother's friend made for her when I was born in 1948. I think she used her daughter's hair. I do believe they were a decoration and not a memorial. Even has a little piece of metal to look like a ring on the baby's finger. Mine is 12x14.

    ReplyDelete