Legal wigs were originally devised to provide anonymity. But unlike a genuine barrister’s wig made of horsehair, this knitted-wool version was likely worn in jest or as part of a costume. The wearer attended Lincoln’s Inn – one of four Inns of Court in London – where members attended qualifying sessions before being called to the bar.

Collection Connections 

  • Wig


    Oceania: Pacific Islands, Melanesia, Papua New Guinea

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  • Ceremonial Mask

    Ceremonial Mask

    Africa: West Africa, Cameroon, Oku

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  • Shirt


    Asia: Central Asia, Turkmenistan, Western Turkmenistan

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Can you think of other traditional objects or practices that evolved over time so their original purpose is no longer widely known?

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