Nut Locket Pendant with Italian Inscription
In Celtic lore the hazel tree was considered to be a source of knowledge; in Ireland the nuts of that tree became a symbol of great mystical wisdom and in Scotland they were associated with the custom of love divination. When worn as an amulet the hazelnut represented attraction. Strings of the nuts were often given as a gift to a new bride to wish her good fortune.
This mid 19th century locket pendant incorporates the symbolism of old with the sentimentality of the Victorian age. A hazel nut has been split into two halves and mounted with rose gold to form a hinged locket. This unusual sentimental piece opens to reveal a compartment waiting for a keepsake of your own. The gold rim of the catch is engraved with this Italian inscription: “Mia Amanti Mia Etoie” which translate as “My Loves (Lovers), My Star”.
Condition: Excellent; although slight bit of play of one half of nut within the rim, it is stable and secure.
Measurements: 1-1/8 inches (2.8 cm) in length without top bale and 1-1/2 inches (3.7 cm) without bale by 11/16 of an inch (1.8 cm) in width by approximately 5/8 of an inch (1.5 cm) in depth as nut is not even. This antique locket has a weight of 5.9 grams.
Date: Circa 1850 (dated by type of surround and mount and by sentimental nature of object and inscription).