A hair receiver is a small, usually ceramic, pot with a hole in the top of it that was part of vintage or antique vanity sets. Typically used in the Victorian era, a hair receiver was a place for a woman to place the hair removed from her hairbrush each evening. The hair would accumulate and was then used to stuff small bags to make a ratt, which looked like a tube of sausage. Hair ratts were used to bulk out hair styles like The Pompadour or The Gibson. Hair could also be used as stuffing for items like pin cushions or small pillows. Hair collected in a hair receiver was not used to make jewelry, which was popular in the 19th century, because the hair removed from brushes and combs was often broken or knotted and would not have been of good enough quality to make into something else.
Antique and vintage vanity sets may include many different pieces such as a brush, comb, hand mirror, tray, perfume bottle with dauber, atomizer, hinged boxes, powder jar, or hat pin holder. Most of the pieces of a vanity or dressing set are fairly easy to identify, but the hair receiver isn't something we would see today. Hair receivers were used up until the 1950s.
Hair receivers are sold both individually and as part of the vanity sets on eBay. The hair receiver shown in the photo here sold for $405 on eBay on November 18. It was sold by Chamberlain Antiques and was a painted piece of Chinese porcelain dating back to the 18th / 19th century. The auction started at $9.99, had 35 bids, and ended at $405. This type of item definitely sells better on auction, as it is rare and collectible and the seller should let the market determine the item's value. View the completed listing here.
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