Oversize Victorian Onyx "Mizpah" Locket

$800.00
About Details History
Jewelry featuring the word "mizpah" was very popular in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The term comes from the Old Testament and is defined as an emotional bond between people who have been separated from one another. This graphic, oversize late Victorian locket is rendered in onyx and sterling silver with a black enamel bail. The stylized silver plate affixed to the face reads "mizpah", branches and twigs form the the letter "M" and the remaining five letters are rendered along a banner. The reverse side features a glass-fronted locket which is currently empty of any photos or mementos. This locket comes on a new 25" heavy silver cable chain (not pictured in the product photographs).

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  • Materials: sterling silver, onyx
  • Age: c. 1880
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Size: 3" length including the bail, 1 3/4" at the widest point, new heavy 25" cable chain (not pictured)
  • Location: To see this locket in person please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
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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.
less
more

About Details History
Jewelry featuring the word "mizpah" was very popular in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The term comes from the Old Testament and is defined as an emotional bond between people who have been separated from one another. This graphic, oversize late Victorian locket is rendered in onyx and sterling silver with a black enamel bail. The stylized silver plate affixed to the face reads "mizpah", branches and twigs form the the letter "M" and the remaining five letters are rendered along a banner. The reverse side features a glass-fronted locket which is currently empty of any photos or mementos. This locket comes on a new 25" heavy silver cable chain (not pictured in the product photographs).

less
more

  • Materials: sterling silver, onyx
  • Age: c. 1880
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Size: 3" length including the bail, 1 3/4" at the widest point, new heavy 25" cable chain (not pictured)
  • Location: To see this locket in person please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
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