Antique Victorian Silver Collar & Locket, circa 1880's
Antique Victorian Silver Collar & Locket, circa 1880's, both with hand engraved floral and foliate decoration. Length of collar 44cm. Width 1.5cm. Length of locket including bale 6cm. Width 3.5cm.
The locket has been called the 'epitome' of Victorian jewellery types. Suspended from chain or ribbon, a locket was a frequent choice for a gift.
Indeed, it was Queen Victoria's preferred commemorative gift as it could contain hair, photographs and portrait miniatures. These tokens were generally private, concealed from view and shown only to intimates. Garrard's, Jeweller to the Queen, noted that they were given in gratitude, to acknowledge exceptional services, but also as mourning gifts. Interestingly they were also very popular as bridesmaids’ gifts, the tradition beginning with the Royal family.
The Illustrated London News in 1868 wrote "It is the fashion this year for Ladies to wear lockets on black velvet ribbon round their necks, the more lockets you can collect and wear the finer you are. Each locket represents an event such as a birthday or anniversary, a bet - any excuse serves as a pretext for giving a locket'"
Condition: This locket and collar are in very good vintage condition. They almost certainly didn’t begin as a set but they work very well together. They are a nice comfortable weight to wear while still looking substantial. The collar is hand engraved with floral motifs to the front only, whereas the locket is hand engraved back and front with applied silver decoration. Both locket & collar are unmarked but guaranteed as silver. A lovely suite.