Today I went to the Dutch Funeral museum Tot Zover in Amsterdam to see a recent acquisition of the museum's collection; a decorative cabinet of walnut wood that preserves a flower bouquet made from human hair. The bouquet was a birthday present, given to Mr. I.W. de Hoog by his son in 1871 as a personal monument to honour the family. In the war years 1914-1915 other family members and their spouses provided more 'hair flowers' to the bouquet, creating a voluminous 18 inch compilation of different types of flora. This bouquet is impressive, because pieces of hair from loved ones -living or deceased- were usually kept in medallions or small picture frames.
I was amazed by the tiny details of these floral imitations: leafs, grapes, roses, daisies, all clearly made with lot's of patience and diligence, which could also be said about the fine wood carving. The static look of the cabinet, the gloomy pepper & salt colours of the bouquet and the craftsmanship with human components did gave it an eerie feel but nevertheless I loved it.
The museum Tot zover is located next to the cemetery 'De Nieuwe Ooster'. The hair bouquet is worth a visit but the rest of the museum is not that alluring. The few other interesting pieces and relics are tucked away in the dark or in a corner of a showcase where they can hardly be seen. Lot's of missed opportunities there, unfortunately.