Date Made/Found: 1701-1800
Material and Medium: Pipe Clay
Place Object Found:
Accession Number: 1996.149.9
This broken wig curler was found during excavations at the site of Bolsterstone glasshouse. It is made of pipe clay, the same material used to make tobacco pipes.
Wearing powdered wigs was fashionable in the 18th century for both men and women. Curlers like this were used to give a permanent curl to hair used for wigs. Hair was wound around the curler, boiled in water and heated in an oven. This meant that the hair would not uncurl when the wig was being worn.
Wig curlers were used mostly in the making of wigs. Perhaps the glass furnace provided a good source of heat for a local wig maker. When the furnace was fired up, he would bring a batch of curlers with hair wrapped round to heat up. Perhaps this one was dropped and lost when they were collected later.