This listing is for the chain only. Locket shown for illustration purposes is sold item 15824.
The Victorian bookchain was a necklace with rectangular links of folded metal each of which resembled a little book. The links were often elaborately engraved and frequently had a large locket attached.
This silver example suspends a series of medallions – one of a butterfly and all others alternating between birds and leaves. Each is hand engraved and each of the bird images are of different species. In evidence is a wading bird, a swallow, perhaps a robin red breast and another bird sporting a type of crest. Romantic in composition, laborious in creation, all manner of birds in flight or at rest, this necklace shows the avid Victorian interest in all things natural.
Note: The birds are oriented so that they can be seen by the observer when the necklace is worn with the large "O" fitting at the bottom. As noted, this type of chain was traditionally used to hold lockets thus the O fitting would rest at the bottom. For a potential matching locket see item 15824 (see photo).
Date: Circa 1880.