Victorian Aesthetic Movement Square Sparrow Locket

Regular price $128.00
Unit price

Victorian Aesthetic Movement Square Sparrow Locket

Regular price $128.00
Unit price

Today they are known as the most common bird in the world, but that wasn't always the case.

Originating in parts of Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, house sparrows were introduced in Britain in the mid-1800s. A few decades later, these tiny birds were imported to the United States with the hopes to establish wildlife that was familiar to European immigrants.

However, with no natural predator, it didn't take long for the house sparrow population to spiral out of control causing farmers and horticulturalists to label them as pests and flying rats.

While sparrows may have been loathed by some, the nature-loving Victorians of the later Aesthetic Movement revered them so much so that they began incorporating their likeness in jewelry form.

To many Victorians, birds represented freedom and the soul. The sparrow, in particular, was regarded as a symbolic guide to help an individual find his or her way along the path of life. It was believed that if you were lost, the sparrow would lead you home.

This beautiful scalloped-edge locket is rolled gold plated in a high polished rose gold and features a repoussé sparrow in flight gliding past a branch. The dimensional centerpiece is given depth and life by the use of different color gold washes.

The body of the bird is washed in yellow gold and its wings are washed in red gold. The leaves of the branch are washed in green gold.

The back of the locket has a gorgeous monogram with the initials KIH.

Locket is being sold without a chain.

Additional Details
Date: 1890s
Materials: Rolled gold plating, brass, gold wash
Measurements: 1" x 7/8" x 1/4"
Markings: None
Condition: Good
Locket has light surface scratches consistent with age and use. Some of the gold plating is starting to wear around the latch. Three of the eight corners have a small crack and a hole. The top left scalloped edge has a slight dent and it looks like the ring at the top may have been soldered back on at some point. The inside of the locket is missing its glass and backing material. All of these flaws are only noticeable under very close inspection or by using a jeweler's loupe. To the naked eye, it is a striking piece.
Cleaning and Care
Clean gently with warm soap and water and a soft bristled brush. Lightly polish with a jewelry polishing cloth, if needed. Do not submerge in any sort of harsh cleaning chemicals as it could remove the gold wash.