hair wigs worn
WIFE. See HUSBAND AND WIFE, and WOMEN.
WIG.' Artificial hair appears to have been worn from very ancient times, as is testified by well-made wigs recovered from Egyptian mummy figures. The full and flowin°,c locks which adorn the sculptured reliefs of human figures found at Nineveh also suggest that wigs were not unknown among the ancient Assyrians. In the 16t11 century the fashion of wearing false hair became prevalent among ladies in Europe. At one period Elizabeth of England was possessed of no fewer than eighty attires of false hair. Mary of Scotland throughout her life was also in the habit of varying the attires of hair she wore ; and much of the confusion which has arisen in connexion with her portraits is traceable to this circumstance.2 The periwig of the 16th century was, however, merely false hair worn like, and sometimes with, the real hair, as an adornment or to supply the defects of nature. It was not till the 17th century that the peruke was worn as a distinctive feature of costume; as such it was first employed by Louis XIII. when his hair failed. His successor, Louis ZIT., did not adopt it till 1673. In the meantime it had been freely donned by courtiers and gallants of the era. Charles I. of England, while in Paris on his way to Spain, "shadowed himself the most he could under a burly perruque, which none in former days but bald-headed people used." The wearing of the peruke became general in the clays of Charles II. Pepys records that he parted with his own hair, and " paid £3 for a periwigg " ; and on going to church in one he says, " it did not prove so strange as I was afraid it would." About this time the peruke is described as "a counterfeit hair which inen wear instead of their own, a thing much used in our days by the generality of our men, contrary to their forefathers." The wig obtained its maximum development during the reign of Queen Anne, who was patroness of the full-bottomed wig, - a huge head-dress which covered the back and shoulders and floated down over the chest. In 1724 the peruke-makers advertised "full-bottom tyes, full bobs, minister's bobs, naturals, half naturals, Grecian Oyes, curley roys, airey levants, qu perukes, and bagg wiggs " among the variety of artificial head-gear which they supplied. Early in the reign of George III. the general fashion of wearing wigs began to wane and gradually died out ; but among professional men the practice continued to hold its place, and it was by slow degrees that military officers and clergymen gave up the habit. The wig of the 17th century now holds its place only on the judicial bench, and with the speaker of the English House of Commons, barristers, and advocates ; but even on the bench its use is being threatened. Wigs of course continue to be worn by many to make up for natural deficiencies; and on the stage the wig is, as in all times, an indispensable adjunct. Many of the modern stage wigs are made of jute, a fibre which lends itself to marvellously perfect imitations of human hair.