wig & bag

wig & bag


Wig made from bleached horse hair mane. The hair comprises of loops which are braided into "strings" or cords which run in parallel rows of which are attached to a fine diamond-pane silk sheet. The lining comprises another layer of coarser silk net. The hair is on a foundation of net and fawn twilled silk ribbon with a short spring in the centre of the back edge. Shaped in a peak over forehead and short curls framing side of face. Rest of hair is long and straight, tied into small black satin bag with ribbon bow. Bag is made from black silk, lined with black linen. Rectangularly shaped with drawstring (missing) at top. Side seams open to halfway down. One side of each bag trimmed towards top with large made-up black silk ribbon bow. Belonged to Thomas Carill-Worsley, 1739 - 1808, lived at Platt Hall, 1764 - 1808

Display Label

For over a century from the 1660s to the late eighteenth century, fashionable men chose to shave their natural hair and to wear a wig instead. Over this long period, styles changed, but the procedure remained similar, necessitating the regular services of a barber for shaving, and to powder the wig, and a wig-maker or perukier to provide new wigs, maybe once a year, and to restyle used wigs. At first, large "full-bottomed" wigs were the fashion, like those worn by judges today, but as the eighteenth century wore on, smaller neater wigs were used, like those of barristers. New wigs were expensive to buy, costing perhaps £2 or £3 in the early eighteenth century, so poorer urban aritisans often bought second-hand wigs at about 8 shillings instead. To make up their wigs, perukiers used different hairs, including horse or goat, or for the most costly wigs, human hair. Payments are recorded in household accounts to female tenants from male estate owners for lengths of cut hair which could be used for the long full wigs of the early eighteenth century. This very rare survival is made of white horsehair and was worn by Thomas Carill-Worsley who lived at Platt Hall from the 1760s. The prints below show a range of wigs being worn in mid to late eighteenth century life.

Object Name

wig & bag

Date Created



Length (bag): 25.4cm x 19.1cm
Length (hair): 43.2cm

accession number


Place of creation




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