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Steadfast Hope in a Victorian Anchor Locket

Item 11441

The Victorians were immensely found of sentiment and symbolism. Thoughts and feelings could be “secretly” spelled out using different types of gems or an entire message conveyed with various flowers and leaves making up a bouquet.

Lockets became very much the vogue as a daytime accessory from the 1860s through the 1880s. The example here is typical of the style of the day with its oval shape crafted of 18k yellow gold with the compartment rims of 9k yellow gold. Differing somewhat is the surface decoration and the gold backing—such lockets were known as “double box” as they had two interior compartments for a photograph and another memento.

This hinged locket has an anchor icon with twisted chain appliquéd on the front. Traditionally used during this time as a symbol of hope and courage, the entwined chain adds a meaning of firm faith. A surround of beaded gold work adds to the fine detailing. The reverse sports a wonderful monogram of the overlapping initials “C” and “E” rendered in a modified Gothic font. A beaded gold surround has also been added to the reverse.

Easily removed, the original concealed keepsakes held within this antique locket are a head-and-shoulders profile photograph of a period gentleman and a sprig of auburn brown hair. Both compartments retain the original gold rims and glass covers. The locket is accompanied by its original box of green leather tooled with gold. The interior is of pale aqua velvet and grey silk. The silk is imprinted in gold with “Rich'd A. Green, 82 Strand, W.C.” (London England).

Condition: Excellent; one minute bend to an inner rim; a tiny fleck off the surface of the edge of one glass. Box exterior is very good; interior has medium wear, some staining and a bit of the velvet off the metal holder.

Measurements: 2-1/4 inches (5.7 cm) in length including bale and 1-11/16 (4.3 cm) without by 1-3/8 inches (3.5 cm) in width by 7/17 of an inch (1.3 cm) in depth. This antique locket has a weight of 26.6 grams (17.1 dwt) including glass and rims.

Date & Origin: Circa 1880 and is English in origin.