*** (SOLD) *** Large Antique Victorian Hand Chased Silver Bird Locket Pendant


*** (SOLD) *** This is a large antique 1880s period locket pendant which is deeply recessed inside on both sides and has a gorgeous hand chased front with an etched bird on a tree in the hillside. It is made of silver metal alloy, not sterling silver and is able to be worn on either side as both are fully decorated. The back has very detailed fanciful flowers and leaves with a scalloped wreath and antique millgrain beaded border. If you look closely you will see that the flowers rest in an urn the top of which is carved for a cartouche which was never monogrammed or inscribed. This locket is quite thick measuring 5/16″ wide on the outside in a closed position. The inside of the locket has large hand cut silver metal stars that are hand applied, one on each side. Size of locket is 2″ tall, north to south including the tiny loop at the top. Width is 1 5/16″ across the center east to west. Depth is 5/16″. Like many Victorian jewelry pieces it has an old, old silver repair at the top loop which is strong and secure. It also has a couple of very tiny dings on the bird side. The fancy floral side is excellent. The lock works well and the locket stays closed. This is a beautifully decorated antique Victorian locket for your collection. It is also well made, thick and strong and able to be used regularly.

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*** (SOLD) ***

Large Antique Victorian Hand Chased Silver Bird Locket Pendant

Aesthetic Movement Jewelry:

The Victorian Era spanned Queen Victoria’s rule of England from 1837 until 1901. During this time, a middle class began to emerge, sparking a demand for jewelry in the mass market. This era is usually divided into several subsections: the Romantic Period from 1837 to 1861, the Grand Period from 1861 to 1880, and the Aesthetic Period from 1880 to 1901.

Jewelry of the Romantic Period (when the queen’s husband, Price Albert, was still alive) seemed to mirror the affection between the country’s rulers. Enameled serpents and snakes were fashioned into necklaces, brooches, pendants, and bracelets. Indeed, Albert’s ring to Victoria was a snake with its tail in its mouth, which was considered a symbol of love eternal.

Engagements Rings:

Others chose engagement rings of diamonds or amethysts set in platinum or gold. Sometimes diamonds were paired with pearls, rubies, emeralds, or sapphires. In so-called acrostic rings, multiple stones were used so that the first letter in the name of each stone spelled out the word “dearest.” Other rings harbored secret, hinged compartments behind the stones.


Flower motifs were also popular in Romantic Period jewelry. Leaves were rendered realistically in gold, while flower buds were studded with jewels. Many flower heads shivered with the movements of their wearers, thanks to a technique called en tremblant. Hands were another recurring motif, symbolizing either friendship or whatever the hands were holding.


Bracelets and bangles were very big—literally. They were composed of hand-worked links; necklaces were punctuated by lozenges with enameled floral decorations at their centers. Large bangles with hinged clasps were often made out of rolled gold to produce scroll-like relief. Some of which were accented with figures or animals in silver.


Of course, brooches were another Romantic Period favorite. Sometimes trios of aquamarines set in gold provided a base for a swinging aquamarine pendant below. Other silver pins were shaped like birds, which were often covered with seed pearls and turquoise.