Antique Victorian Sterling Silver Locket, circa 1880.
Antique Victorian Sterling Silver Locket, circa 1880. Engraved Japanese landscape to front and all over scroll and foliate decoration to the reverse. Length 6.5cm. Width 3.8cm. Birmingham Hallmarks, Maker J&F.S Date stamp for 1881.
The locket has been called the 'epitome' of Victorian jewellery types. 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 lovely, it is well-constructed and is in very good vintage condition. The engraving on the front depicts a house near water, with a boat in the middle ground and mountains on the horizon. The hand engraving on both back and front is of excellent quality. The Maker J&F.S is unattributed, but his marks have been found on other lockets of this period. There is a stamped lion passant on the bale and a highly decorative geometric motif bordering the front of the locket. It is a fine example of it’s kind.