What is this? -What was it Used For? -Is it real Hair?-

 How old is it? -Any History information? 

I specialize in vintage costume jewelry and got this little amulet “purse” in a box lot I purchased.
Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
 Thank you, Carol S.

< Hook on strap


The purse itself is 2.5" (not including the dangles). There's a beaded "strap" that is 20" end-to-end that is sewn onto the ends of the purse. The "hair" runs through the entire length of the strap! In other words the smaller beads are sewn over top the hair. Looks like it was to be worn as a necklace.

There's also a hook on the strap,  
I don't know the purpose for the hook. the hook  is facing "downwards" towards the purse. 

I just tried rubbing one of the larger dangles of bead across a sheet of paper - nothing, no mark. But they are lightweight. Is there another test for jet? Didn't someone once mention running it lightly across a piece of clay pottery? Maybe they are just glass.

I did the “burn” test as you suggested.  I used hair from my own brush as a benchmark for smell.  They were similar but not exactly the same.  The “purse” hair had a stronger smell to it.


beaded strap

Close-up of Hair

Any help would be appreciated. -Send information Marlys Fladeland


I've seen this before at a friends on an Indian reservation. It was a medicine bag that had been made out of (she believed) horse hair by her great great grandmother She had been a medicine woman and carried her 'medicines' in it around her neck.

I don't know if you were wondering specifically what the hook is for or if
you were wondering about the purse as well.  I don't know about the hook,
but I remember learning at a historical re-enactment that tiny purses like
that were extremely decorated keepsake necklaces.  A girl would put some
small thing her beau had given her in there and wear it, kind of like a
locket for non-picture stuff.  I actually have a lovely red cloth one
somewhere.  (Mine doesn't have the small hook on the strap, just a
behind-the-neck clasp.)
I hope that helps.



Contact Marlys Fladeland