John Keats - Envelope with a Lock of John Keats's Hair, 1821

John Keats (London, 1795 - 1821, Rome)

Envelope with a Lock of John Keats's Hair, 1821

Ink on paper, human hair, 8.7 x 11.2 cm (3 7/16 x 4 7/16 in.) overall

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Object details

Accession number

U27e58

Creators

  • Isabella Stewart Gardner (New York, 1840 - 1924, Boston) - compiler
  • John Keats (London, 1795 - 1821, Rome) - primary

Object Case

Earlier Authors Case

Provenance

Entered Isabella Stewart Gardner's collection at an unknown date.

Marks

Inscribed in ink (in Isabella Stewart Gardner's hand): Hairs from Keats' (sic) head cut off by Seavern on Keats's deathbed


Rights and reproductions

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Commentary

This envelope containing a lock of Keats’s hair commemorates the passing of the great poet. Many nineteenth century Americans and Europeans saved locks of hair from the recently deceased to honor their memory. Gardner also acquired the hair of contemporary celebrities and displayed these mementos in archival cases throughout her museum.

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