Victorian Turquoise Pavé Heart Locket

About Details History
Turquoise is one of the most ancient gemstones, prized by the Aztecs, Ancient Egyptians, and Native Americans for it's perceived talismanic properties as well as its vibrant blue color. Queen Victoria was a lover of the gemstone and it's said that she gave a portrait ring encircled by turquoise cabochons to each of her ladies in waiting upon her marriage to Prince Albert. Royalty in general (and the Queen in particular) set the trends in the 19th century, so if Victoria was seen to be wearing and gifting jewelry featuring turquoise, those in society who could afford to emulate her tastes did so. Pavé turquoise was especially popular in the mid to late Victorian period and can be seen adorning every kind of jewelry from stick pins to elaborate snake necklaces. This c. 1860 heart locket is fashioned in silver with a face studded in turquoise. The stones vary in color from the classic robin's egg blue to a muted jade green. The reverse side features a glass-fronted locket. Hangs from a new 18" sterling silver chain.

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  • Materials: sterling silver, turquoise cabochons
  • Age: c. 1860
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Size: 1 1/8" x 5/8" locket, 18" chain
  • Location: To see this necklace 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.
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About Details History
Turquoise is one of the most ancient gemstones, prized by the Aztecs, Ancient Egyptians, and Native Americans for it's perceived talismanic properties as well as its vibrant blue color. Queen Victoria was a lover of the gemstone and it's said that she gave a portrait ring encircled by turquoise cabochons to each of her ladies in waiting upon her marriage to Prince Albert. Royalty in general (and the Queen in particular) set the trends in the 19th century, so if Victoria was seen to be wearing and gifting jewelry featuring turquoise, those in society who could afford to emulate her tastes did so. Pavé turquoise was especially popular in the mid to late Victorian period and can be seen adorning every kind of jewelry from stick pins to elaborate snake necklaces. This c. 1860 heart locket is fashioned in silver with a face studded in turquoise. The stones vary in color from the classic robin's egg blue to a muted jade green. The reverse side features a glass-fronted locket. Hangs from a new 18" sterling silver chain.

less
more

  • Materials: sterling silver, turquoise cabochons
  • Age: c. 1860
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Size: 1 1/8" x 5/8" locket, 18" chain
  • Location: To see this necklace 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