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Victorian Enameled Flora and Fauna Gold Locket

About Details History
This elaborately enameled Victorian locket seems to have drawn its inspiration from the late Victorian era's Aesthetic Movement, but opted to forgo the element of minimalism characteristic to the style. The face of the locket features an almost psychedelic array of flowers in orange, blue, green and black enamel. The central bouquet sits within an undulating frame embellished with more staid, classic Victorian blossoms. The back of the locket is the real star of the show with multicolored birds and butterflies perched on swirls of fantastical branches. The locket opens by pressing the button at the top and holds a single glass lens. Hangs from a new 18" 14k gold chain. Very wonderful and very unusual.

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  • Materials: 14k gold (tests), multicolored enamel, new 14k gold chain
  • Age: c. 1880
  • Condition: Good - some enamel loss to the front, clear enamel coating on the back is worn at the base but the color enamel is intact
  • Size: 1 3/8" including the bale, 15/16" width, 18" chain
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VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
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About Details History
This elaborately enameled Victorian locket seems to have drawn its inspiration from the late Victorian era's Aesthetic Movement, but opted to forgo the element of minimalism characteristic to the style. The face of the locket features an almost psychedelic array of flowers in orange, blue, green and black enamel. The central bouquet sits within an undulating frame embellished with more staid, classic Victorian blossoms. The back of the locket is the real star of the show with multicolored birds and butterflies perched on swirls of fantastical branches. The locket opens by pressing the button at the top and holds a single glass lens. Hangs from a new 18" 14k gold chain. Very wonderful and very unusual.

less
more

  • Materials: 14k gold (tests), multicolored enamel, new 14k gold chain
  • Age: c. 1880
  • Condition: Good - some enamel loss to the front, clear enamel coating on the back is worn at the base but the color enamel is intact
  • Size: 1 3/8" including the bale, 15/16" width, 18" chain
less
more
VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
less
more