Victorian Gem: Jeweled Locket Bracelet
Jewelers of the mid-Victorian or Grand Period were strongly influenced by Greek and Etruscan design and tended to replicate rather than re-interpret or create. With the Castellani family of Italy having re-discovered some of the ancient techniques of goldsmithing, a hunger for the revival of classical jewelry developed throughout England and the Continent.
This bracelet displays how gold took on a different, somewhat softer look (bloom) during this era. From the superb woven flexible yellow gold band to the engraved floral motif clasp, we see how Victorian jewelers incorporated gold beading, twisted rope design and granulation to create a veritable work of art for the wrist.
Domed, the large circular locket head is ornamented with an old mine cut diamond of an estimated .05 carats set within a star in the center of a flattened garnet cabochon. Exquisite granulation and gold wire work create circle upon concentric circle of decoration. The reverse reveals a locket compartment set to hold a memory by removing the glass cover and inserting a photo or keepsake.
The charming original brown leather box has the configuration of a hatbox shaped at an angle. The interior is lined with sumptuous blue velvet and vividly colored blue silk upon which is imprinted “W. Lawson, Goldsmith & Jeweller, 7, Parker Street & 39, Lord Street, Liverpool”.
Condition: Excellent for bracelet. Exterior of box is good; light wear and scuffing with a bit of surface scratching to the leather. Interior is very good to excellent
Measurements: 1-3/16 inches (3 cm) in diameter by 7/8 of an inch (1.3 cm) in rise off the wrist. Will fit a wrist of 7-1/4 inches (18.4 cm) or less. This antique bracelet has a weight of 18.2 grams (11.7 dwt).
Date & Origin: Circa 1870 – 1880 and is English in origin.
Note: All diamond weights are approximate since the stones were not removed from their mounts to preserve the integrity of the setting.
Historical Note: The 1863 edition of “The London Wholesale, Manufacturing and Retail Goldsmiths,’ Silversmiths,’ Watchmakers’ and Cutlers’ Directory” has W. L. Lawson of 7 Parker Street listed under Gold and Silversmiths and under Jewellers (Working) in Liverpool.
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