Odd Obsessions – Teeth Jewelry

teeth jewelry, tooth jewelry, jewelry made of human teeth, oddities, oddities blog

Both beautiful and carnal, teeth jewelry spans across multiple eras and cultures, from ancient tribes to Victorian royalty and even into modern day alt fashion. Whether you find the practice grotesque or elegant, people have been wearing human and animal teeth for centuries. The original reason for creating these types of accessories is unknown, but this morbid fascination with wearing trophies of kills or preserving relics of loved ones has carried on through history and into today.

The first example depicted above is a Polynesian necklace made entirely of human incisors and canines, estimated to have been extracted from about 60 to 100 individuals. The next three pieces date back to the Victorian era. We have Queen Victoria and her impeccable taste for macabre fashion to thank for most of the unconventional style trends of the 19th century, including jewelry adorned with human hair and animal parts, as well as mourning rings embedded with children’s milk teeth (2) and trophy earrings ornamented with teeth from hunted stags (3, 4). Today, there are many alternative jewelers crafting fashionable wears from human molars, often inspired by eras past. These pieces by Loved to Death (5, 6) are just a few examples of the many modern artists currently creating Victorian-inspired jewelry with real human teeth.

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4 comments on “Odd Obsessions – Teeth Jewelry

  1. I was excited to come across your site. I have a gold stick pin (don’t know the grade). The top of the stick pin has an oak cluster but instead of acorns, there are teeth. An antique dealer said it was probably made in the late 1800s, but that was all he could tell me, as he had never seen anything like it, Have you ever come across something similar? Do you know the significance of the oak cluster? Thank you for taking the time to read my comment.

    • Hey Kimberly! I’ve seen photos of stick pins similar to what you describe. I’d agree it’s probably late 19th century (by the late 1800s/early 1900s, people were finally becoming concerned about the extinction of elk since people were just hunting them for their two canine teeth to use in jewelry pieces like these). It’s likely a hunting pin, either worn as a way to display an interest in hunting or to actually show off a trophy kill. The oak leaf motif is traditionally German, symbolic of strength, wisdom, and maturity. I’ve seen them sell for a couple hundred bucks.

  2. hi Corinne, i’ doing an assignment which deals with jewellery inspired by the victorian era, so i wish to know if the items above are victorian or inspired by the victorian era…your respond will be greatly appreciated. i’m a jewellery student

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