Hairwork brooch from jewelry set
This brooch is part of a three-piece set, including a pair of earrings and a watch chain. All three are made from pieces of hair belonging to two of the Cardozo sisters, a prominent Jewish family living in St. Paul during the Civil War. Their father, Isaac Cardozo, was a judge for the federal and district courts of Minnesota. Sentimental hairwork was very popular at the time. It was a way to keep a piece of loved ones with you, or pass down locks of hair to descendants. Many people also made mourning jewelry out of hair, to remember their deceased loved ones.