Aesthetic Period Silver Locket Pendant
The later decades of the 19th century were referred to as The Aesthetic Period. Seen as a reaction against the prevailing “very English” Victorian style of the ornate and the traditional, the style was simple, new and decidedly influenced by Japanese design. The underlying moral and sentimental themes which so dominated that society were supplanted by what may be viewed as a cult dedicated to beauty and influenced by refined and sensuous delights.
What has come to be known as Japonisme is the use of motifs, objects and asymmetry presented almost as a Japanese observation on nature. Here we have a superb sterling silver double box locket appointed with rose gold over silver appliqués. Almost abstract, simple everyday objects such as flowers and leaves are set in a spatial arrangement emptied of most of its elements except for color and line. The background has a patina of silvery dark grey lending depth and detail. Even the bale gives a transcendental nod to the ideal. The interior reveals deep compartments suitable for two photographs or a treasured keepsake.
Date: Circa 1880.
Measurements: 2-1/2 inches (6.3 cm) in length including bale by 1-3/16 of an inch (3.0 cm) in width. Weight of 23.0 grams (14.8 dwt).
Hallmarks: Standard Silver.
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