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I bought this years ago at an antique store. The man I bought it from had bought it from an estate sale. He said he bought it from the actual family of the woman to whom it belonged (though I can't imagine letting go of anything like this if it was from someone in my family...but to each their own I guess!).

Anyway, it is a simple brown leather (?) wallet on the outside, clean but worn, but opens to a very special little array of items! There is a picture of a woman I believe to be from the Victorian era and the man I bought it from was told it was her wallet, and she sewed/embroidered the monogram sleeve on the right-hand side herself. I can't tell what it is made with, it looks like very thick thread (I don't believe it to be tightly wound hair, which a lot of things from this era are, but this is not). I also cannot decipher the monogram, I have no idea what it is (I guess it could just be a little filigree design with no initials?). Behind the monogram is a separate sleeve with an embroidered flower scene, also done by the woman in the photo. It is very sweet and looks new, it has been protected behind the monogram for decades! After I bought the wallet I removed the sleeve and found tucked down in the bottom of the wallet a corner of a ripped photo, probably a little later in date as the paper of the photo is thin. I don't know who the woman in the photo is, she looks a bit like the woman in the cabinet card photo but I don't think it is the same woman. Perhaps a relative? I put a picture of the tiny corner photo in image #5. It is such a mystery! I love Victorian mysteries!!! :)

The main photo is a cabinet card, taken of a woman in Victorian dress, her hand resting on a decorative table and her other hand holding a sprig of flowers. The card was most likely a larger size that had the border and extra sides cut off to fit in the sleeve. The back has a photographer's name, Max Fischer, from Berlin. Everything is written in German on the back so I guess this woman is of German heritage! A lot of the printed writing is cut off as the card had been cut down but you can see addresses and Berlin and the name. Behind the cabinet card is a sweet little hair braid tied with white twine. The man I bought it from said the family wasn't sure whose hair it was, the woman in the photo's or someone else's, but it is definitely antique and definitely from someone important to her or the person who obtained the wallet from her.

This is a beautiful piece of history full of little items that each hold meaning. It's a lovely Victorian memento that I have enjoyed displaying in my little cabinet of Victorian goodies. I hope someone comes along who will love it as much as I have! I'm not sure on a year for this wallet. It could be late 1800's, or even early 1900's, I just have no way to tell! The wallet is a titch over 5" tall and 3.75" wide. When it is open it measures 7.25" wide. The clasp works well and is strong.

Antique Victorian Wallet With Embroidery Monogram Hair and Photo of Woman Who Owned It - Postmortem

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  • Vintage item from the 1800s
  • Materials: leather, metal, photo, photography, hair, thread, embroidery
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 288 reviews
  • Favorited by: 164 people