The 1860s brought about a number of pivotal changes affecting nearly all matters of Victorian life both at home and abroad.
What began as a decade of high hopes and promise for the future quickly dissolved into a period defined by death and grief.
In England, the 20-year Romantic Period came to an abrupt end following the untimely death of Queen Victoria's beloved husband, Prince Albert. This devastating loss thrust not only the bereaved queen but also the country into a period of deep mourning.
Meanwhile in the US, the first shots of the Civil War were fired setting up what would become America's bloodiest war culminating in 750,000 lives lost.
With so much death surrounding every day life, it became even more important for women to have a personal reminder of their loved ones. Perfect for concealing a tin type or lock of hair, lockets became an important fashion accessory of the era.
Also happening in the 1860s, the Comstock Lode was discovered in Virginia City, NV, opening up the first source of silver in the US. More affordable to mass produce than its gold counterpart, silver quickly emerged in popularity and by the end of the 1880s was worn by women of every social class.
This exquisite set truly is a product of its time.
Crafted in sterling silver, this beautiful locket has a raised centerpiece with a lovely etched ivy design as well as lots of intricate wire work detailing. A striking punched star design and beading line the edge of the locket.
Locket comes on an exquisite silver Y collar belcher chain with an interesting bead edge design.
Materials: Sterling Silver
Measurements: Locket: 1 1/2" x 1 3/16" Bail Drop: 1/2" Chain: 18" Y Drop: 2"
Markings: Birmingham silver marks, W, unidentified mark
Condition: Chain: Very Good / Locket: Good
Chain has light scratches consistent with age and wear. One of the links looks like it has an old repair. The locket has a lot of stories to tell. It is obvious that it was used as a baby's teething device, which was very common in the Victorian era. There are tiny tooth dents on the back as well as on the front of the locket. Because of the tooth marks, one of the wire-work rings is slightly misshaped on the front, which has opened the seam slightly and allows the centerpiece to move ever so slightly. The locket is still very secure and solid. The piece will not move on its own accord, only if you fidget with it.
Cleaning and Care
Clean gently with warm soap and water and a soft bristled brush. Dry thoroughly. Polish with a silver cloth if needed.