The 18th century was the height of the enormous wig craze - the taller and more elaborate the better. Well-crafted pieces were status symbols for both men and women, designed to flaunt wealth and power. The fact that they were incredibly expensive, some totaling the same as an average yearly wage, meant they were ripe for stealing. Boys under blankets, trained monkeys and slicing open carriage walls were just a few of the elaborate methods employed to snatch wigs. Check out Atlas Obscura's article.
Fun Fact: The term "bigwig" originated from this fad as only the very wealthy could afford big wigs.
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